Nanoscience and Microsystems ETDs

Publication Date



Lanthanide fluorides have many uses, and there is a need for high quality nanocrystals to fill this need. Here, the synthesis and characterization of high quality lanthanide fluorides is presented. In particular, this dissertation focuses on dysprosium fluoride doped with ytterbium, to eventually be used as a forensic and clandestine neutron detector material. There is a need for neutron detectors that have no sensitivity to any other type of radiation and can be used as a forensic tool to go back and look at an event. There is the further requirement that such detectors be hard to detect by those being monitored. To this end, here is proposed that a detector which can exploit the transmutation properties of dysprosium could be used in such an environment. This concept does not require real time monitoring, or electronics to record events, making it an excellent candidate for this application.


Neutron counters--Materials., Dysprosium, Rare earth fluorides


The National Science Foundation; The National Consortium for MAINST Research; The Defense Threat Reduction Agency; More Graduate Education at Mountain States Alliance; Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation; Integrating Nanotechnology with Cell Biology and Neuroscience Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship

Document Type




Degree Name

Nanoscience and Microsystems

Level of Degree


Department Name

Nanoscience and Microsystems

First Advisor

Osinski, Marek

First Committee Member (Chair)

Hecht, Adam

Second Committee Member

Brenner, Igal

Third Committee Member

Busch, Robert