Technology & Engineering

Organic Neutron Detectors for Homeland Security & Nuclear Safety

The market for radiation detection materials has seen significant growth driven by the requirements to meet the evolution of threats by Homeland Security and enhanced pervasive monitoring systems for Nuclear Safety. Homeland Security requires large area detectors with increased performance and enhanced sensitivity as well as multichannel position sensitive capability. Whilst the Nuclear Safety industry requires lower cost easier to fabricate systems. The costs of current 3He neutron detection systems are increasing due to dwindling supply and so new neutron detection materials are required that meet increasingly sophisticated performance requirements at a lower cost.

As such, there is a requirement for neutron radiation detection materials with increased efficiency and lower manufacturing cost that will enable multichannel position sensitive large area radiation detection. To address this problem, new neutron radiation detection technology has been developed at QMUL based on a composite organic semiconductor material incorporating dispersed neutron sensitizer elements. The new technology promises to deliver efficiencies in excess of 35% which is the limit of current state of the art semiconductor materials combined with lower fabrication costs. In addition the configuration of the new material is optimised to enable the electrodes to be arranged to enable multichannel output over a large area enabling position sensitive detection.

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