Volume 105, Number 2, January 2014
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Published online||11 February 2014|
3He-free triple GEM thermal neutron detector
1 Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare - Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati - Via Enrico Fermi 40, 00044 Frascati (Rome), Italy
2 CERN - CH-1211 Geneva 23, Switzerland
3 ENEA Centro Ricerche Frascati - Via Enrico Fermi 45, 00044 Frascati (Rome), Italy
4 MIFP, Mediterranean Institute of Fundamental Physics - Via Appia Nuova 31, 00040 Marino (Rome), Italy
5 ENEA Centro Ricerche Casaccia - Via Anguillarese 301, 00123 S. Maria di Galeria (Rome), Italy
6 Oak Ridge National Laboratory - 2008 MS-6466, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6466, USA
Received: 13 November 2013
Accepted: 12 January 2014
A novel type of thermal neutron detector based on the gas electron multiplier (GEM) technology is presented in the framework of the research and development activity on the 3He replacement for neutron detection. The device relies on a series of boron-coated alumina sheets placed perpendicularly to the incident neutron beam direction. The detector, named side-on GEM (S-GEM), was tested on beam at the High Flux Isotope Reactor at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (US) to assess its performance in terms of beam position resolution, efficiency and signal-to-background (S/B) ratio as compared to a 10 bar 3He tube for sub-thermal neutrons. Using 3 mm wide PADs, a sub-millimeter position resolution was obtained. The achieved efficiency is about 30% with a quite good S/B ratio. The obtained results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed detector configuration to achieve a good spatial resolution and, in the perspective, a higher thermal neutron efficiency, comparable to 3He tubes typically used for diagnostic in nuclear reactors. The main issues to be addressed to reach the goal, mostly related to boron coating procedures and characterization, are also pointed out.
PACS: 29.40.-n – Radiation detectors / 29.40.Cs – Gas-filled counters: ionization chambers, proportional, and avalanche counters / 29.30.Hs – Neutron spectroscopy
© EPLA, 2014
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