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Proceedings Paper

Perforated semiconductor neutron detectors for battery operated portable modules
Author(s): Douglas S. McGregor; Steven L. Bellinger; David Bruno; Walter J. McNeil; Eric Patterson; J. Kenneth Shultis; C. J. Solomon; Troy Unruh
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Paper Abstract

Perforated semiconductor diode detectors have been under development for several years at Kansas State University for a variety of neutron detection applications. The fundamental device configuration is a pin diode detector fabricated from high-purity float zone refined Si wafers. Perforations are etched into the diode surface with inductively-coupled plasma (ICP) reactive ion etching (RIE) and backfilled with 6LiF neutron reactive material. The perforation shapes and depths can be optimized to yield a flat response to neutrons over a wide variation of angles. The prototype devices delivered over 3.8% thermal neutron detection efficiency while operating on only 15 volts. The highest efficiency devices thus far have delivered over 12% thermal neutron detection efficiency. The miniature devices are 5.6 mm in diameter and require minimal power to operate, ranging from 3.3 volts to 15 volts, depending upon the amplifying electronics. The battery operated devices have been incorporated into compact modules with a digital readout. Further, the new modules have incorporated wireless readout technology and can be monitored remotely. The neutron detection modules can be used for neutron dosimetry and neutron monitoring. When coupled with high-density polyethylene, the detectors can be used to measure fission neutrons from spontaneous fission sources. Monto Carlo analysis indicates that the devices can be used in cargo containers as a passive search tool for spontaneous fission sources, such as 240Pu. Measurements with a 252Cf source are being conducted for verification.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 September 2007
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6706, Hard X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Detector Physics IX, 67060N (24 September 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.756813
Show Author Affiliations
Douglas S. McGregor, SMART Lab., Kansas State Univ. (United States)
Steven L. Bellinger, SMART Lab., Kansas State Univ. (United States)
David Bruno, SMART Lab., Kansas State Univ. (United States)
Walter J. McNeil, SMART Lab., Kansas State Univ. (United States)
Eric Patterson, SMART Lab., Kansas State Univ. (United States)
J. Kenneth Shultis, SMART Lab., Kansas State Univ. (United States)
C. J. Solomon, SMART Lab., Kansas State Univ. (United States)
Troy Unruh, SMART Lab., Kansas State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6706:
Hard X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Detector Physics IX
Ralph B. James; Arnold Burger; Larry A. Franks, Editor(s)

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