Development and characterization of a neutron detector based on a lithium glass-polymer composite

M. Mayer, J. Nattress, V. Kukharev, A. Foster, A. Meddeb, C. Trivelpiece, Z. Ounaies, I. Jovanovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report on the fabrication and characterization of a neutron scintillation detector based on a Li-glass-polymer composite that utilizes a combination of pulse height and pulse shape discrimination (PSD) to achieve high gamma rejection. In contrast to fast neutron detection in a PSD medium, we combine two scintillating materials that do not possess inherent neutron/gamma PSD properties to achieve effective PSD/pulse height discrimination in a composite material. Unlike recoil-based fast neutron detection, neutron/gamma discrimination can be robust even at low neutron energies due to the high Q-value neutron capture on6Li. A cylindrical detector with a 5.05 cm diameter and 5.08 cm height was fabricated from scintillating 1 mm diameter Li-glass rods and scintillating polyvinyltoluene. The intrinsic efficiency for incident fission neutrons from252Cf and gamma rejection of the detector were measured to be 0.33% and less than 10-8, respectively. These results demonstrate the high selectivity of the detector for neutrons and provide motivation for prototyping larger detectors optimized for specific applications, such as detection and event-by-event spectrometry of neutrons produced by fission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-122
Number of pages6
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Volume785
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 11 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation

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