Improved Solid-State Neutron Detector
Group Leader, Instrument R & D
The use and applications of radiological sources, for power, medical, and defense applications, continuously increases with time. Illicit nuclear materials represent a threat for the safety of the American citizens and the detection and interdiction of a nuclear weapon is a national problem that has not been yet solved. This represents an enormous challenge to current detection methods and monitoring technologies that have to be substantially improved to demonstrate accurate radiation identification capabilities. Using neutron signatures represents a promising solution, however, such a detection technique requires capabilities of detecting neutrons while rejecting effectively background gamma rays. Rugged and low-power neutron detectors are highly desirable for large-scale deployment. This research develops a neutron detector that has the potential of replacing pressurized 3He-tubes and current solid-state detectors with an ultra-compact detector based on CMOS-SSPM (Solid State Photomultipliers) technology. This technology provides a low-power, portable unit that can be mass-produced and deployed in a wireless network on a large scale. The detector is very fast and, in addition, can provide time and spectroscopy information over a wide energy range, including fast neutrons and is, therefore, capable of identifying threatening incidents at the speed of life.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.