The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Dr. Charles L. Melcher

Research Professor
Director, Scintillation Materials Research Center

Ph.D., Washington University, St. Louis

Brief Bio

Dr. Melcher earned his bachelor's degree in Physics from Rice University in 1974 and his Ph.D. in Physics from Washington University in St. Louis in 1980 where his dissertation research focused on thermoluminescence phenomena in various materials. Dr. Melcher was a post-doctoral research associate at Caltech for three years working in heavy ion sputtering and planetary science before joining Schlumberger-Doll Research in 1983.  While at Schlumberger he led the research effort on radiation detector materials and developed scintillation and semi-conductor detectors for applications in geophysical exploration.  As Senior Scientist at Schlumberger, he invented the LSO:Ce scintillator and developed the growth process for single crystals of this material.  In 1996 he joined CTI Molecular Imaging where he led the further development of LSO:Ce from the research stage to large-scale commercial manufacturing for use in positron emission tomography (PET).  In 2005 Dr. Melcher joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee and soon thereafter founded the Scintillation Materials Research Center where he currently serves as Director. Dr. Melcher has authored or co-authored over 90 technical papers, including two book chapters and several invited review articles.  He holds seven U.S. patents and has four pending.  He is Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science (TNS) and Editor of the conference proceedings of Inorganic Scintillators and their Applications 2007.

Research Areas

Discovery and development of new scintillation materials that will form the basis for the next generation of gamma-ray, x-ray, and neutron detectors.

Characterization of new luminescent materials via optical and x-ray spectroscopy.

Implementation of emerging scintillator technology in medical imaging systems, homeland security inspection systems, neutron and particle physics experiments, and remote sensing.

Single crystal growth and powder synthesis of novel scintillation materials.

Selected Awards and Honors

IEEE Merit Award, 2006

Professional Activities

Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science
Editor, Conference proceedings of Inorganic Scintillators and their Applications 2007
Chair-elect, IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society - Radiation Instrumentation Technical Committee

Selected Publications

C. L. Melcher, Scintillator crystals for PET, J. Nucl. Med. 41(6), 1051-1055 (2000).

C. L. Melcher, M. A. Spurrier, L. Eriksson, M. Eriksson, M. Schmand, G. Givens, R. Terry, T. Homant, R. Nutt, Advances in the scintillation performance of LSO:Ce single crystals, IEEE Trans. Nucl. Sci. 50(4), 762-766 (2003).

C. L. Melcher, S. Friedrich, S. P. Cramer, M. A. Spurrier, P. Szupryczynski, R. Nutt, Cerium oxidation state in LSO scintillators, IEEE Trans. Nucl. Sci. 52(3) 1809-1812 (2005).

C. L. Melcher, Perspectives on future development of new scintillators, Nucl. Instr. Meth. A537, 6-14,(2005).

C. L. Melcher, S. Friedrich, C. Piamonteze, M. Spurrier, P. Szupryczynski, Cerium charge state analysis by X-ray absorption, in Scint 2005: Proceedings of the Eighth  International Conference on Inorganic Scintillators and Their Use in Scientific and Industrial Applications, A. Getkin and B. Grinyov, eds., pp. 15-19 (2006).


Selected Patents

4,883,956: Methods and Apparatus for Borehole Gamma Ray Spectroscopy and Like Measurements, 1989.

4,958,080: Lutetium Orthosilicate Single Crystal Scintillation Detector, 1990.

5,264,154: Single Crystal Scintillator and Apparatus for Investigations of Subsurface Earth Formations Comprising the Single Crystal Scintillator, 1991.

5,660,627: Flat Solid-to-Liquid Interface Crystal Growth of LSO, 1997.

6,413,311: Method for manufacturing a cerium-doped lutetium oxyorthosilicate boule having a graded decay time, 2002.


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