Absolute efficiency calibration of 6LiF-based solid state thermal neutron detectors
P. Finocchiaro, L. Cosentino, S. Lo Meo, R. Nolte, D. Radeck
Paper International Journal with referee
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 the art of a promising low-cost technique, based on commercial solid state silicon detectors coupled with thin neutron converter layers of 6LiF deposited onto carbon fiber substrates. A few configurations were studied with the GEANT4 simulation code, and the intrinsic efficiency of the corresponding detectors was calibrated at the PTB Thermal Neutron Calibration Facility. The results show that the measured intrinsic 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.
Nucl. Inst. and Meth. A 885 (2018) 86-90. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nima.2017.12.066