Fast Neutron Imaging Scintillator with Low Sensitivity to Gamma Radiation
Small Business Information
44 Hunt Street, Watertown, MA, 02472
AbstractNeutron crystallography compliments x-ray crystallography in its ability to precisely locate hydrogen and light atoms in various materials. This information is important for biological applications (for example, monitoring protein dynamics), and material research and security applications (for example, explosives detection, etc.). However, the detectors available for scattered neutron radiation are still inadequate. The ideal detector would provide fast response, high spatial resolution, high neutron efficiency, low gamma sensitivity, and large detection area at reasonable cost. This project will develop a detector, based on a finely-structured plastic scintillator coupled to a state-of-the-art digital readout, that meets the above requirements The structure of the scintillator's body will enhance light channeling to the digital optical detector, promoting very high spatial resolution. The scintillator will be loaded with neutron sensitive elements, such as B and Gd. In Phase I, a 5 x 5 cm2 prototype sensor will be fabricated and evaluated using a novel CCD-based detector and a PSPMT at neutron beam facilities. The effectiveness of the technology will be demonstrated by neutron radiographic imaging of various test phantoms. The efficiency, time response, and spatial resolution of the detector will be measured. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The modified scintillator should find widespread in neutron radiography and neutron crystallography. The detector, along with its components (e.g., the structured plastic scintillator) could be employed at any neutron source facility and would advance basic research in material science, protein mechanisms, and drug design. Further applications could be found in non-destructive testing and secuity scanning at entry ports and strategic facilities
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