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Proceedings Paper

Semiconductor neutron detectors using depleted uranium oxide
Author(s): Craig A. Kruschwitz; Sanjoy Mukhopadhyay; David Schwellenbach; Thomas Meek; Brandon Shaver; Taylor Cunningham; Jerrad Philip Auxier
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Paper Abstract

This paper reports on recent attempts to develop and test a new type of solid-state neutron detector fabricated from uranium compounds. It has been known for many years that uranium oxide (UO2), triuranium octoxide (U3O8) and other uranium compounds exhibit semiconducting characteristics with a broad range of electrical properties. We seek to exploit these characteristics to make a direct-conversion semiconductor neutron detector. In such a device a neutron interacts with a uranium nucleus, inducing fission. The fission products deposit energy-producing, detectable electron-hole pairs. The high energy released in the fission reaction indicates that noise discrimination in such a device has the potential to be excellent. Schottky devices were fabricated using a chemical deposition coating technique to deposit UO2 layers a few microns thick on a sapphire substrate. Schottky devices have also been made using a single crystal from UO2 samples approximately 500 microns thick. Neutron sensitivity simulations have been performed using GEANT4. Neutron sensitivity for the Schottky devices was tested experimentally using a 252Cf source.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 September 2014
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9213, Hard X-Ray, Gamma-Ray, and Neutron Detector Physics XVI, 92130C (5 September 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2063501
Show Author Affiliations
Craig A. Kruschwitz, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
Sanjoy Mukhopadhyay, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
David Schwellenbach, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
Thomas Meek, The Univ. of Tennessee Knoxville (United States)
Brandon Shaver, The Univ. of Tennessee Knoxville (United States)
Taylor Cunningham, The Univ. of Tennessee Knoxville (United States)
Jerrad Philip Auxier, The Univ. of Tennessee Knoxville (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9213:
Hard X-Ray, Gamma-Ray, and Neutron Detector Physics XVI
Arnold Burger; Larry Franks; Ralph B. James; Michael Fiederle, Editor(s)

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