LaBr Scintillation Crystal

Standard and Enhanced Lanthanum Bromide

  • Best energy resolution
  • Fast emission
  • Excellent linearity
  • High count rate capabilities
  • Excellent light output stability with T°

Standard and Enhanced Lanthanum Bromide [LaBr3] scintillation materials have been the reference for excellent energy resolution combined with fast emission and good linearity.  Since the fall of 2016, we have been manufacturing Enhanced Lanthanum Bromide [LaBr3(Ce+Sr)] scintillation crystal, which raises the bar for energy resolution.

  • Best energy resolution for improved isotope identification in RIID application
  • Fast emission enabling high count rate capability for extended measurement capability (time of flight, fast analysis)
  • High density and good stopping power to reduce crystal size (vs NaI), in RIID or high signal efficiency for all high energy applications (PGNAA, physics)
  • Excellent light output stability with temperature to allow the best identification performance, even if high temperature

Lanthanum Bromide scintillation materials provide an excellent energy resolution for a scintillator. The FWHM (full width at half maximum) for a 2" diameter by 2" long crystal has been measured at 2.6%. FWHM of the Enhanced Lanthanum Bromide scintillation detector has been measured at 2.2% at 662keV. 

Enhanced Lanthanum Bromide scintillator material maintains most of the excellent properties of the standard Lanthanum Bromide and improves the energy resolution. The co-doped Enhanced Lanthanum Bromide scintillator provides a new feature: the difference in decay time for gamma and alpha-particles interactions that are not observed in the standard LaBr3 scintillator. That creates a valuable option to eliminate the contribution of natural intrinsic background activity through digital pulse-shaped discrimination technique.

A unique aspect of LaBr is the background peak that can be used as a built-in reference for stabilization. 1436 + 32keV may be used as a calibration peak or as a constant and known activity that can be subtracted to get K40 yield.

Typical Background Count Rates/cc
summarized for a 38 x38 mm detector

LaBr3(Ce) Enhanced LaBr3(Ce+Sr)
0-255 keV beta continuum 0.277 Bq/cc 0.272 Bq/cc
790 keV – 1000 keV gamma and beta 0.104 Bq /cc 0.102 Bq/cc
1468 keV gamma peaks 0.063 Bs/cc 0.061 Bq/cc
Alphas above 1600 keV 0.119 Bq/cc*
(<0.2 Bq/cc)
0.089 Bq/cc*
(<0.2 Bq/cc)

* These are typical values provided as examples. In case of specific need, please contact us.


Self-counting background count to 3000 keV

38S38 LaBr3:Ce and LaBr3:Ce,Sr Self Counting
      Lanthanum Bromide Enhanced Lanthanum Bromide
    Photoelectron yield [% of NaI(Tl)] (for γ-rays)) 165 >190
    Energy resolution [%] @ 662 keV 2.6% 2.2%
    Wavelength of emission max [nm] 380 385
    Refractive index @ emission max ~1.9 ~2.0
    Primary decay time [μs] 0.016 0.025
    Light yield [photons/keVγ] 63 73
    Density [g/cm3] 5.08 5.08
    Hygroscopic yes yes
    Packaging Options

    Because of the high light output and fast decay time of the LaBr materials, PMT selection and integration, as well as the use of specific electronics, are key to optimizing performance. Lanthanum Bromide scintillation crystals are only available as integrated designs.

    Lanthanum Bromide is hygroscopic and must be hermetically packaged with a light-sensing device [such as a photomultiplier tube (PMT) or silicon photomultiplier (SiPM)]. The proper packaging and integration of scintillation crystals is a science combining advanced design and engineering skills with proven assembly techniques and materials to produce stable, high-resolution radiation detectors.

    Saint-Gobain Crystals offers a variety of detector designs to fulfill most radiation counting applications. It can also be packaged for high temperature, rugged environment for oil well logging application.

    Premium designs provide the best performances but have a PMT with a diameter slighter larger than the scintillation crystal diameter.  Compact designs use a PMT with the same diameter as the scintillation crystal.

    For “Premium” designs, we are able to guarantee 3.0% @ 662keV for LaBr and 2.5% @ 662keV for Enhanced LaBr.

    Typically, for “Compact” designs, we are able to guarantee 3.5% @ 662keV for LaBr and 3.0% @ 662keV for Enhanced LaBr.

    To illustrate, here is the design of the compact 51S51/2/LaBr (2-4-5994) and the equivalent premium design 51S51/3/LaBr (2-3-6214). The crystal dimensions are the same, but the PMT diameter is different.

    Typical Sizes

    Standard integrated designs are available up to a 3" diameter by 3" long scintillator. Larger designs can be produced upon request. Associated electronics have been developed to offer you a choice of designs optimized for spectroscopic performance.

    • Standard integrated designs are available with up to a 3" diameter by 3" long.
    • Routine sizes; 1" diameter x 1", 1.5" dia. x 1.5", 2" dia. x 2", 3" dia. x 3" cylinders
    • Have achieved 97mm (3.8") dia. X 244mm (9.7") length with standard LaBr3(Ce)

    Elongated designs with a crystal 1" diameter by 4" long have been used when position information is required by the application. X-ray detectors with thin crystals 2.5mm thick to serve high count-rate applications.

    Standard Configurations with Typical Energy Resolution Values –
    Scintillator Model

    Scintillator Dimensions

    dia. / pins
    57Co (122keV)
    End on
    137Cs (662keV)
    End on
    LaBr3(Ce) 25S25/1.5 1" dia. x 1" thick 1.5" 12-pin ≤ 6.5% ≤ 3.5%
    LaBr3(Ce) 38S38/1.5 1.5" dia. x 1.5" thick 2" 12-pin ≤ 6.0% ≤ 3.0%
    LaBr3(Ce) 51S51/2 2" dia. x 2" thick 2" 14-pin ≤ 6.0% ≤ 3.5%
    LaBr3(Ce) 76S76/3 3" dia. x 3" thick 3" 14-pin ≤ 6.0% ≤ 3.5%
    LaBr3(Ce) 76S76/3.5 3" dia. x 3" thick 3.5" 14-pin ≤ 6.0% ≤ 3.0%
    Plug-on Electronics

    Plug-on voltage divider and voltage divider/preamplifier modules have been developed to match the special characteristics
    of the Lanthanum Bromide materials.

    Common characteristics of these electronics are:

    • Standard sockets: 12-pin – FE1012 or  14-pin – FE1014
    • High voltage connector: SHV - refer to Table 2; or BNC/HT (MHV) - refer to the table
    • BNC for the signal connector
    • Power connector:
      • 9-pin socket (P/N Amphenol 17DE09S)1
      • 2-pin socket (P/N Radiall BR2 R605.550.000)2
    • Power supply: +/-12V
    PMT Details Voltage Divider Voltage Divider / Preamplifier Adapter
    Diameter Description AS30 AS2712
    Positive Output
    Negative Output
    US Standard Plug-on Electronics' Part Numbers – SHV and 9-pin Power Connector
    1.5" 12-pin, 10 stages* 6-4-6243 6-4-6228 6-4-6224 9-3-5555
    2", 3”, 3.5” 14-pin, 8 stages** 6-4-6242 6-4-6227 6-4-6223 9-3-6029
    European Standard Plug-on Electronics' Part Numbers – BNC/HT (MHV) and 2-pin Power Connector
    1.5" 12-pin, 10 stages* 6-4-5663 6-4-5673 6-4-5671 9-3-5555
    2", 3”, 3.5” 14-pin, 8 stages** 6-4-5662 6-4-5672 6-4-5670 9-3-6029

    1 Mating plug (Amphenol P/N 17DE09P)
    2 Mating plug (Radiall P/N BR2 R605.005.000 for a 5.5mmφ wire or BR2 R605.004.000 for a 4.5mmφ wire)
    * 12 pin to 14 pin conversion adaptors are available for some PMTs.
    ** An adaptor is available to allow use of the 14-pin 8-stage PMT with a 14-pin 10-stage PMT voltage divider.

      Video Title
      What's so special about Enhanced LaBr
      Display on Video Center
      It's What's Inside that Counts!

      Guillaume Gautier, Application and Technology Manager talks about the performance of Enhanced Lanthanum Bromide

      Document Resource

      Data Sheets

      Standard LaBr and Enhanced LaBr material data sheet

      PDF | 679.21 KB
      Technical papers

      LaBr and Enhanced LaBr testing

      PDF | 782.46 KB