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Scintillating Porous Architectures for RadioacTivE gas detection

Project description

A scintillating new concept will detect trace amounts of radioactivity in real time

Radioactivity is a natural phenomenon that occurs when unstable atoms (radioactive isotopes of elements, or radionuclides) become more stable by emitting radiation energy. Radionuclides are present in the environment because of cosmic radiation, radiation from various consumer products and the radioactive decay of uranium found in rocks and soil. However, perhaps the greatest concern to the public is the accidental release of radioactive elements, including krypton-85, xenon-133, hydrogen-3 and argon-37, produced by human activity. The EU-funded SPARTE project is developing efficient, fast and highly sensitive systems to detect these gases using novel scintillating porous materials.


Radioactive gases are key targets for the environment, making gas monitoring an important issue. SPARTE will focus on the detection and activity measurement metrology of tracers related to nuclear activities. In this respect, the detection of 85Kr, 133Xe, 3H, 37Ar, being all emitter or electron capture radionuclides, is targeted. SPARTE will implement and achieve a radically novel radioactive gas detection and radioactivity metrology, by introducing highly porous scintillating aerogels and/or Metal-Organic Frameworks designed to dramatically extend gas-matter interaction for effective detection through scintillation. These materials after development and optimization will combine an efficient, fast and isotropic scintillation ensuring homogeneous 3D response and high sensitivity for metrology.
The goal will be to realize functional solid-based sensors generating a close intermixing between the sensor and the analyte and to combine efficiency and homogeneity. Major breakthroughs are foreseen: a calibration method for low activity range of 85Kr and 133Xe, a real time detection system of for some noble gas and 3H with a significantly improved sensitivity in an easy deployable system, a detector for 37Ar. SPARTE consortium proposes a unique combination of competences aimed at succeeding in the difficult task of pioneering a new technology track, from sensor as porous scintillator to critical radioactive gas detection and metrology method development. It covers the six critical skills - i.e. aerogels and MOFs scintillating monolith preparation, structural and scintillation characterization, ionizing radiation detection and its modeling – needed to reach our goals. The consortium combines 4 leading research centers and 2 SMEs around 3 core expertises - processing, characterization and metrology - also encompassing the industrial perspective, in order to create the interdisciplinary “substrate” necessary for a successful outcome of the project.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 864 750,00
69622 Villeurbanne Cedex

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Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Rhône-Alpes Rhône
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 999 750,00

Participants (7)