High-efficiency Thermal Neutron Detector

We invented a crystalline neutron detector (like a gemstone) that could be used for nuclear nonproliferation and homeland security, space science and imaging applications.

Y-12 recently developed a high-efficiency thermal neutron detector. The detector is a single-crystalline device that could be used in handheld nuclear nonproliferation and homeland security applications to locate fissile materials. This solid-state neutron detector offers the significant advantages of portability, sensitivity, simplicity and low cost. Its simpler, more compact design and higher efficiency are key improvements over current detectors that will appeal to users.

The detector also could be used for nondestructive testing and evaluation, radiation safety and health physics, as well as thermal neutron radiography, computed tomography and neutron science when arrays of crystals are conceived.

Y-12’s detector received a prestigious R&D 100 Award.