Neutron detection devices with 6LiF converter layers
INFN Laboratori Nazionali del Sud, Bologna Italy
S. Lo Meo is with ENEA Catania Italy
R. Nolte and D. Radeck are with PTB Braunschweig, Germany
Published online: 10 January 2018
The demand for new thermal neutron detectors as an alternative to 3He tubes in research, industrial, safety and homeland security applications, is growing. These needs have triggered research and development activities about new generations of thermal neutron detectors, characterized by reasonable efficiency and gamma rejection comparable to 3He tubes. In this paper we show the state of art of a promising lowcost technique, based on commercial solid state silicon detectors coupled with thin neutron converter layers of 6LiF deposited onto carbon fiber substrates. Several configurations were studied with the GEANT4 simulation code, and then calibrated at the PTB Thermal Neutron Calibration Facility. The results show that the measured detection efficiency is well reproduced by the simulations, therefore validating the simulation tool in view of new designs. These neutron detectors have also been tested at neutron beam facilities like ISIS (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK) and n_TOF (CERN) where a few samples are already in operation for beam flux and 2D profile measurements. Forthcoming applications are foreseen for the online monitoring of spent nuclear fuel casks in interim storage sites.
Key words: Thermal neutron detectors / 3He replacement / 6LiF neutron converter / silicon detectors
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2018
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).