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SAFC Hitech(TM) Expands Electronic Materials Portfolio With the Introduction of Scintillation Crystal Growth Halides

New Materials Target Medical and Security Detection Applications

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SAFC Hitech(TM), a focus area within SAFC(R), a member of the Sigma-Aldrich Group (Nasdaq: SIAL), today announced that it has expanded the scope of its electronic materials offering with the launch of a comprehensive line of high-purity halides ( These new raw materials enable the growth of scintillation detector crystals, used extensively in energy detection devices across a range of security, medical, and astrophysical applications, and will enable improved performance in the detection of X-rays, gamma rays and radioactive particles for homeland security devices, X-ray and emission tomography, and particle detection in high-energy physics and astronomy.

While the use of scintillation crystals in energy detection applications is not a new development, the technological and performance demands placed on detectors have evolved. There is a growing requirement to replace or supplement the traditional doped alkali halide materials used in crystal growth with newer, advanced materials to meet these changing conditions. SAFC Hitech's portfolio includes several rare earth and alkali earth halides specifically designed to tackle these challenges and offer improved performance characteristics for future generations of detection devices.

"As a premier supplier of high-purity halide raw materials for scintillation crystal growth, we have developed a comprehensive portfolio of products and services to support the commercial development and manufacturing of halide detector crystals," stated Sean Dingman, Market Segment Manager for SAFC Hitech. "The Crystal Growth Halides product line includes thallium iodide (TlI), a key activating dopant in scintillation crystal technology. SAFC Hitech also offers high-purity sodium and cesium iodide (NaI and CsI) providing a one-stop service for key crystal growth materials."

"Since the new SAFC Hitech offering was launched in July 2007, we have been actively building on our core competencies in the supply of advanced chemistries to the silicon and compound semiconductor markets to expand into other areas in which we see significant commercial potential," added Dr. Geoff Irvine, Director, Commercial Development and Marketing, SAFC Hitech. "With our new high-purity halides, we are reinforcing our offer with value-add services designed to improve our customers' throughput, reduce total cost of ownership and address environmental concerns. SAFC Hitech can blend halide compositions, package materials to customizable customer specifications and provide a reprocessing service to remove off-cut thallium doped material and repurify the materials."

Irvine continued, saying, "Looking ahead, we anticipate an increase in demand for rare earth halides as the technology for crystal growth continues to improve. For example, in Radioactive Isotope Identification Devices (RIIDs), which are hand-held security detectors, cerium-doped lanthanum bromide [LaBr(3):Ce] shows a higher resolution of several radioactive isotopes and detects these materials more efficiently than thallium doped sodium iodide."

Lanthanum and cerium bromides [LaBr(3)] and [CeBr(3)] are available from SAFC Hitech, as well as barium, strontium and europium halides in addition to thallium, sodium and cesium iodides as part of their Crystal Growth Halides premiere product offer. "We have a broader portfolio of high purity halides available in addition to our premier products and would like to partner with leaders in the crystal growth community to deliver solutions that employ these materials," concludes Dingman.

SAFC Hitech will be discussing their scintillation materials offering at the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society -- Nuclear Science Symposium & Medical Imaging Conference -- to be held in Dresden from October 19-25. Further information on SAFC Hitech's Crystal Growth Halides can be found at

About SAFC Hitech: SAFC Hitech provides a unique chemistry service translating application understanding into performance materials worldwide. Through collaborative partnerships and an integrated approach from research and development, process development and scale up to commercial manufacturing, SAFC Hitech invests in innovation and manufacturing enabling current and future technology needs. Further information can be found at

About SAFC: SAFC(R) is the custom manufacturing and services group within Sigma-Aldrich that focuses on high-purity inorganics for high technology applications, cell culture products and services for biopharmaceutical manufacturing, biochemical production and the manufacturing of complex, multi-step organic synthesis of APIs and key intermediates. SAFC has manufacturing facilities around the world dedicated to providing manufacturing services for companies requiring a reliable partner to produce their custom manufactured materials. SAFC has four focus areas -- SAFC Pharma(TM), SAFC Supply Solutions(R), SAFC Biosciences(TM), and SAFC Hitech(TM) -- and had annual sales of nearly $600 million in 2007. SAFC is one of the world's 10 largest fine chemical businesses. For more information about SAFC, visit

About Sigma-Aldrich: Sigma-Aldrich is a leading Life Science and High Technology company. Its biochemical and organic chemical products and kits are used in scientific and genomic research, biotechnology, pharmaceutical development, the diagnosis of disease and as key components in pharmaceutical and other high technology manufacturing. The Company has customers in life science companies, university and government institutions, hospitals, and in industry. Over one million scientists and technologists use its products. Sigma-Aldrich operates in 36 countries and has 8,000 employees providing excellent service worldwide. Sigma-Aldrich is committed to Accelerating Customer Success through Leadership in Life Science, High Technology and Service. For more information about Sigma-Aldrich, please visit its award-winning Web site at

SAFC(R), SAFC Supply Solutions(R) and Sigma-Aldrich(R) are registered trademarks and SAFC Pharma(TM), SAFC Biosciences(TM) and SAFC Hitech(TM) are trademarks of Sigma-Aldrich Biotechnology L.P. and Sigma-Aldrich Co.

SOURCE Sigma-Aldrich Group
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