New Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Materials for Neutron Detection
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44 Hunt Street, Watertown, MA, 02472-4699
AbstractIn the proposed program, we plan to investigate novel semiconductor neutron detectors based on the wide bandgap lithium containing compositions LiGaSe2, LiGaTe2, LiInS2, and LiInSe2. The goal of the program is to produce detector quality crystals and to demonstrate efficient thermal neutron detection, with the possibility of providing neutron gamma discrimination. We will examine the synthesis and purification of high quality starting materials and the growth of single crystals. We will evaluate the electronic, charge transport, and detection response characteristics of the materials that are produced. Thermal neutron detection studies and neutron gamma discrimination will be investigated. A compact low cost solid state thermal neutron detection system based on any of these materials would be a major breakthrough over conventional thermal neutron detectors, such as 3He tubes, which are currently in short supply. This development would open up many potential commercial applications for systems based on these detectors. Beyond nuclear non-proliferation monitoring, neutron detection has important applications in several areas, including nuclear physics, oil exploration, materials characterization, biological research, nuclear waste characterization, health physics, and non destructive evaluation.
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