Neutron response characterization for an EJ299-33 plastic scintillation detector

Chris C. Lawrence, Michael Febbraro, Thomas N. Massey, Marek Flaska, F. D. Becchetti, Sara A. Pozzi

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Abstract

Organic scintillation detectors have shown promise as neutron detectors for characterizing special nuclear materials in various arms-control and homeland-security applications. Recent advances have yielded a new plastic scintillator - EJ299-33 - with pulse-shape-discrimination (PSD) capability. Plastic scintillators would have a much-expanded range of deployment relative to liquids and crystals. Here, we present a full characterization of pulse-height response to fission-energy neutrons for an EJ299-33 detector with 7.62-by-7.62-cm cylindrical active volume, and compare with an EJ309 liquid scintillator in the same assembly. Scintillation light-output relations, energy resolutions, and response matrices are presented for both detectors. A continuous-spectrum neutron source, obtained via the bombardment of 27Al with 7.44-MeV deuterons at the Edwards Accelerator Facility at Ohio University, was used for the measurement. A new procedure for evaluating and comparing PSD performance is presented which accounts for the effect of the light-output relation on the ability to detect low-energy neutrons. The EJ299-33 is shown to have considerable deficit in matrix condition, and in PSD figure of merit when compared to EJ309, especially when neutron energy is taken into account. Nevertheless the EJ299 is likely to bring a modest PSD capability into a array of field applications that are not accessible to liquids or crystals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-22
Number of pages7
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Volume759
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 21 2014

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

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