Plastic Fiber

Scintillating and Light Transmitting

A variety of plastic scintillating, wavelength-shifting and light-transmitting fibers are produced for research and industry.  Scintillating fibers consist of a polystyrene-based core and a PMMA cladding. The scintillating core contains a combination of fluorescent dopants selected to produce the desired scintillation, optical and radiation-resistance characteristics.

Current sizes range from 0.5 mm to 3 mm round cross-sections and are available in canes, spools, ribbons, and arrays. Custom sizes and designs are available upon request. Fibers > 2mm are available only in cane form to prevent the fiber from retaining the shape of the spool.

Scintillating fibers are well-suited for such applications as Industrial gauging, Calorimeters, Real-time imaging systems.

Flexibility to conform to the surface shape, yielding geometries superior to those of other types of detectors. Examples are detectors for monitoring pipes or barrels.


Fiber Type   Emission Color Emission Peak, nm Decay Time, ns # of Photons per MeV** Characteristics / Applications
BCF-10 blue 432 2.7 ~8000 General-purpose; optimized for diameters >250μm
BCF-12 blue 435 3.2 ~8000 Improved transmission for use in long lengths
BCF-20 green 492 2.7 ~8000 Fast green scintillator
BCF-60 green 530 7 ~7100 3HF formulation for radiation hardness
BCF-91A green 494 12 n/a Shifts blue to green
BCF-92  green 492 2.7 n/a Fast blue to green shifter
BCF-98  n/a n/a n/a n/a Clear waveguide

** For Minimum Ionizing Particle (MIP), corrected for PMT sensitivity

Fiber Ribbon Design Parameters

Scintillating, waveshifting, and light-transmitting single fiber ribbons
  • Minimum fiber diameter 0.5mm
  • Standard Ribbon Length 2" (50mm) minimum / 130" (3300mm) maximum
    • Contact us for requests outside our standard length dimensions
  • Width 20" (508mm) maximum
  • Ribbon end finish options
    • Rough-Cut Finish: +/- 12.7mm (+/- 0.5”)
    • Diamond-Mill Finish
      <2m length: +/- 0.25mm (+/- 0.010”)
      >2m length: +/- 1mm (+/- 0.0394”)
Scintillating fiber in ribbon form

Frequently Asked Questions

Are fibers sensitive to Neutrons?

All scintillating fibers are sensitive to fast neutrons through proton recoil.

How is fiber light output defined?

We define the light output as # of photons per MeV for minimum ionizing Particle, which is approximately 8000 for BCF-12.  The more densely ionizing particles emits less light than per unit energy.

What is the fiber spool size?

Fiber is wound on a spool that measures 30" (762mm) outer diameter x 27.4" (698.5mm) core x 2.25" (57mm) with 1" (50.8mm) center hole. It will fit 1000 meters of 1mm fiber.

What is the lower temperature limit of Scintillating Fiber?

The lower limit on operating temperature has not been set, but research experiments have used fiber in temperatures down to about 4 degrees K.  Fiber will lose their flexibility at low temperatures.

What is the typical bend radius of a scintillating fiber

The typical bend radius is 30-40 times the diameter of the fiber.

Data Sheets
Fiber Product Sheet

Plastic scintillating, wavelength-shifting and light-transmitting fibers

PDF | 1.81 MB
Operation and Care
Plastic Fiber Care

Care Instructions for Plastic and Fiber Scintillators

PDF | 60.06 KB