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Charles L. Melcher

Research Professor & Director-Scintillation Materials Research Center


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. He 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 he 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 100 peer-reviewed journal articles with more than 3000 citations, including two book chapters and several invited review articles. He holds 13 U.S. patents and several foreign patents on various scintillation materials.


  • 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.


Ph.D., Washington University, St. Louis

Professional Service

  • Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science (2004-2010)
  • Associate Editor, Conference proceedings of Inorganic Scintillators and their Applications (2009)
  • Senior Editor, Conference proceedings of Inorganic Scintillators and their Applications (2007)

Awards and Recognitions

2014 Fellow, IEEE

2013 Citation for Success in Multidisciplinary Research: University of Tennessee

2009–2011 Chair, IEEE Radiation Instrumentation Technical Committee

2006 Merit Award: IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society


  1. Mohit Tyagi, Harold Rothfuss, Samuel Donnald, Merry Koschan, Charles L. Melcher, Effect of Ca2+ co-doping the scintillation kinetics of Ce-doped Gd2Ga3Al2O12, IEEE Trans. Nuc. Science 61(1) 297-300 (2014).
  2. Hua Wei, Mariya Zhuravleva, and Charles L. Melcher, Scintillation Properties of Cs3LaCl6:Ce3+ and Cs3LaBr6:Ce3+, Trans. Nuc. Sci. 61(1) 390-396 (2014).
  3. Mariya Zhuravleva, Stephan Friedrich, and Charles L. Melcher, Oxidation state of europium in CsSrI3:Eu scintillator by X-ray absorption spectroscopy, Opt. Mater. 36(3) 670-674 (2014).
  4. Samuel Donnald, Mohit Tyagi, Harold Rothfuss, Merry Koschan, Jason Hayward, Charles L. Melcher, Sample-to-sample variation in single crystal YAP:Ce nonproportionality, Trans. Nuc. Sci. 61(1) 332-338 (2014).
  5. Fang Meng, Merry Koschan, Mohit Tyagi, Charles L. Melcher, Peter Cohen, A novel method to create an intrinsic reflective layer on a Gd3Ga3Al2O12:Ce scintillation crystal, Nuclear Inst. and Meth. in Phys. Res., A (2014),
  6. Mohit Tyagi, Mariya Zhuravleva, Charles L. Melcher, Theoretical and experimental characterization of promising new scintillators: Eu2+ doped CsCaCl3 and CsCaI3, J. Appl. Phys. 113, 203504 (2013).
  7. Samuel B. Donnald, Mohit Tyagi , Harold Rothfuss, Jason P. Hayward, Charles L Melcher, and Merry Koschan, The Effect of B3+ and Ca2+ Co-Doping on Factors Which Affect the Energy Resolution of Gd3Ga3Al2O12:Ce, IEEE Trans. Nuc. Science 60(5) 4002-4006 (2013).
  8. H. Wei, M. Zhuravleva, K. Yang, B. Blalock, C. L. Melcher, Effect of Ba substitution in CsSrI3: Eu2+, J. Crystal Growth 384, 27-32 (2013).
  9. Mohit Tyagi, Fang Meng, Merry Koschan, Samuel B. Donnald, Harold Rothfuss, and Charles L. Melcher, Effect of codoping on scintillation and optical properties of Ce doped Gd3Ga3Al2O12 scintillator, J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 46, 475302 (2013).
  10. Shi Chen, Hua Wei, Charles L. Melcher, and Yiquan Wu, Spectroscopic properties of transparent Y3Al5O12: Eu ceramics, Optical Materials Express 3(12) 2022-2027 (2013).

Selected Patents

8,692,203 New iodide scintillators for gamma ray detection, K. Yang, M. Zhuravleva, C.L. Melcher, P. Szupryczynski, 2014.

8,617,422 Use of Co-doping to Modify the Scintillation Properties of Inorganic Scintillators Doped with Trivalent Activators, M. Koschan, C. L. Melcher, L. Eriksson, H. Rothfuss, 2013.

8,598,530 New chloride scintillators for gamma ray and/or neutron detection, M. Zhuravleva, K. Yang, C.L. Melcher, P. Szupryczynski, 2013.

8,278,624 Lutetium oxyorthosilicate scintillator having improved scintillation and optical properties and method of making the same, M. Koschan, C. L. Melcher, Piotr Szupryczynski, A. A. Carey, 2012

8,148,697 Implementation of colored wavelength shifters in phoswich detectors, F. Bauer, L. Eriksson, R. Grazioso, C. L. Melcher, H. E. Rothfuss, 2012.

8,115,173 Implementation of Wavelength Shifters in Phoswich Detectors, L. Eriksson, C. L. Melcher, R. Grazioso, 2012

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