Organic scintillation materials involve short wavelength light emitted from polymers containing aromatic ring moieties. We have characterized high-purity (>99.9%) polystyrene (PS) as a potential scintillator. It emits ultraviolet light with a 310-nm emission maximum. We demonstrate that the effective refractive index (1.67) for PS is a function of the emission spectrum. Light yield distributions generated by 137Cs and 207Bi radioactive sources were also characterized. The light attenuation length is 41.6 ± 0.5 mm, which is ten times than expected. These results demonstrate that high-purity PS has important light propagation characteristics needed for organic scintillation materials.
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