The literature discussing pulse-shape discrimination (PSD) in organic scintillators dates back several decades. However, little has been written about PSD techniques that are optimized for neutron spectrum unfolding. Variation in n-γ misclassification rates and in γ/n ratio of incident fields can distort the neutron pulse-height response of scintillators and these distortions can in turn cause large errors in unfolded spectra. New applications in arms-control verification call for detection of lower-energy neutrons, for which PSD is particularly problematic. In this article, we propose techniques for removing distortions on pulse-height response that result from the merging of PSD distributions in the low-pulse-height region. These techniques take advantage of the repeatable shapes of PSD distributions that are governed by the counting statistics of scintillation-photon populations. We validate the proposed techniques using accelerator-based time-of-flight measurements and then demonstrate them by unfolding the Watt spectrum from measurement with a 252Cf neutron source.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering