Liquid Scintillator


Different base materials produce Pulse Shape Discrimination properties, high flash point, performance at low or high temperatures, or other properties. Some scintillators are loaded with organo-metallic compounds to increase their neutron or photon cross-sections. Certain formulations are designed to be economical in large volumes. Liquid scintillator concentrates designed to be diluted on site are available.

General characteristics of liquid scintillation materials are presented in the physical constants table below.

Liquid scintillators should be sealed in clean, dry, chemically inert containers. Prior to use, they are deoxygenated to assure that the scintillators achieve their optimum performance.  Liquid scintillators are available in bulk or sealed in containers of glass or aluminum.  See the individual material page for details.

Intended for applications involving neutron detection in the presence of gamma radiation.

High flash point makes it suitable for use in large volume detectors

mineral oil scintillators have flash points rendering them relatively safe for use in large tanks where exceptionally long mean free paths are essential

BC-521 is used in neutron spectrometry, neutrino research | BC-525, with its mineral oil component, has higher light transmission and higher flash point than traditional gadolinium loaded liquids. 

Useful for total absorption neutron spectrometry

Designed to maintain its clarity and fluid state at -50°C. It is used for detection of γ, fast n, cosmic rays

Cells for Liquid Scintillators

Liquid scintillator cells are containers, usually made of glass or aluminum, with at least one ground-and-polished port available for viewing by a photomultiplier tube (PMT). The scintillators are deoxygenated for improved stability and light output; and, the cells have expansion reservoirs containing oxygen-free nitrogen to maintain this condition.

Unless otherwise instructed, glass cells will be coated with a diffuse white reflector. Non-glass cells will have an internal white reflector. The reflector and construction materials are selected for long-term compatibility. Aluminum cells have a clear-anodized surface treatment.

Design Options

  • Aluminum and glass cells
  • One or two viewing ports
  • Flanges available for aluminum cells
  • Other geometries available including regular and tapered hexagonal
  • For applicable scintillators, neutron source and pulse shape discrimination test measurements

Aluminum cell housing description:

  • MVB-1 Vertical orientation only; one PMT viewing port
  • MAB-1F Any orientation; one PMT viewing port; mounting flange
  • MAB-2F Any orientation; two PMT viewing ports; mounting flange
  • MTP-1 Horizontal or vertical orientation; one PMT viewing port

Glass liquid cell description:

  • VB-1 Vertical orientation only; one PMT viewing port
  • HB-1,2 Horizontal orientation only; one or two PMT viewing ports
  • TPB-1,2 Horizontal or vertical orientation; one or two PMT viewing ports


Physical Constants of Liquid Scintillators

Scintillator Light Output % Anthracene1 Wavelength of Maximum Emission, nm Decay Constant, ns H:C Ratio Loading Element Density Flash Point °C
BC-501A 78 425 3.21 1.212   0.87 26
BC-505 80 425 2.5 1.331   0.877 48
BC-517L 39 425 2 2.01   0.86 102
BC-517H 52 425 2 1.89   0.86 81
BC-517P 28 425 2.2 2.05   0.85 115
BC-517S 66 425 2 1.70   0.87 53
BC-519 60 425 4 1.73   0.87 63
BC-521 60 425 4 1.31 Gd (to 1%) 0.89 44
BC-523 65 425 3.7 1.74 Nat. 10B (5%) 0.916 -8
BC-523A 65 425 3.7 1.67 Enr. 10B (5%) 0.916 -8
BC-525 55 425 3.8 1.56 Gd (to 1%) 0.88 91
BC-533 51 425 3 1.96   0.80 65

* Anthracene light output = 40-50% of NaI(Tl) 1Fast component; mean decay times of first 3 components = 3.16, 32.3 and 270 ns

The data presented are believed to be correct but are not guaranteed to be so. Nothing herein shall be construed as suggesting the use of our product in violation of any laws, regulations, or rights of third parties. User should evaluate suitability and safety of product for user’s application. We cannot assume liability for results that user obtains with our products since conditions of use are not under our control.

Operation and Care
Liquid Scintillator Handling

Safety and Handling of Liquid Scintillators

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