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Proceedings Paper

Si pillar structured thermal neutron detectors: fabrication challenges and performance expectations
Author(s): R. J. Nikolic; Q. Shao; L. F. Voss; A. M. Conway; R. Radev; T. F. Wang; M. Dar; N. Deo; C. L. Cheung; L. Fabris; C. L. Britton; M. N. Ericson
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Paper Abstract

Solid-state thermal neutron detectors are desired to replace 3He tube tube-based technology for the detection of special nuclear materials. 3He tubes have some issues with stability, sensitivity to microphonics and very recently, a shortage of 3He. There are numerous solid-state approaches being investigated that utilize various architectures and material combinations. Our approach is based on the combination of high-aspect-ratio silicon PIN pillars, which are 2 μm wide with a 2 μm separation, arranged in a square matrix, and surrounded by 10B, the neutron converter material. To date, our highest efficiency is ~ 20 % for a pillar height of 26 μm. An efficiency of greater than 50 % is predicted for our device, while maintaining high gamma rejection and low power operation once adequate device scaling is carried out. Estimated required pillar height to meet this goal is ~ 50 μm. The fabrication challenges related to 10B deposition and etching as well as planarization of the three-dimensional structure is discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 May 2011
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 8031, Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications III, 803109 (13 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.885880
Show Author Affiliations
R. J. Nikolic, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Q. Shao, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
L. F. Voss, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
A. M. Conway, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
R. Radev, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
T. F. Wang, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
M. Dar, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln (United States)
N. Deo, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln (United States)
C. L. Cheung, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln (United States)
L. Fabris, Oak Ridge National Lab. (United States)
C. L. Britton, Oak Ridge National Lab. (United States)
M. N. Ericson, Oak Ridge National Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8031:
Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications III
Thomas George; M. Saif Islam; Achyut K. Dutta, Editor(s)

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