Semiconductor Neutron Detector

Period of Performance: 04/01/2016 - 03/31/2017

$250K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt Street Array
Watertown, MA 02472
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Abstract

We propose to develop a thermal neutron detection module based on LiInSe2 semiconductor material as an alternative to He-3 detectors. While recent depletion of He-3 gas is the main driving force behind development of He-3 replacements, other issues with He-3 tubes such as a pressurized vessel used and microphonic issues are also important factors in handheld and portable detectors. LiInSe2 offers (1) efficient thermal neutron detection (significantly higher per-volume than 3H); (2) direct conversion of the neutrons to electrical signal, which is an advantage compared to the alternative solution based on scintillators with neutron detection capabilities; and (3) good separation between gamma and neutron particles utilizing simple pulse height discrimination. The final goal is to develop a LiInSe2 detection module and integrate it into a compact handheld instrument. The technical objectives of Phase II is to advance the technology based on Phase I investigation and design and develop a neutron detection module and integrated into a neutron handheld instrument.