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Title: Development of a Nanomaterial Anode for a Low-Voltage Proportional Counter for Neutron Detection

Abstract

NanoTechLabs (NTL) in collaboration with the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) and Clemson University have continued development of a next generation proportional counter (PC) for neutron detection utilizing robust, inexpensive nanostructured anodes while maximizing neutron capture. Neutron detectors are vital to national security as they can be used to detect illicit trafficking of radioactive materials, which could mean the presence of or planning of a dirty bomb attack. Typical PCs operate with high bias potentials that create electronic noise. Incorporating nanomaterials into the anode of PCs can theoretically operate at low voltages (eg. 10-300V) due to an increase in the electric field associated with a smaller diameter nano-scale anode. In addition to the lower operating voltage, typical high PC voltages (500-1200V) could be used to generate a larger electric field resulting in more electrons being collected, thus increasing the sensitivity of the PC. Other advantages of nano-PC include reduced platform size, weight, cost, and improved ruggedness. Clemson modeled the electric field around the CNT array tips. NTL grew many ordered CNT arrays as well as control samples and densified the arrays to improve the performance. The primary objective for this work is to provide evidence of a commercially viable techniquemore » for reducing the voltage of a parallel plate proportional counter using nanosized anodes. The parallel plate geometry has advantages over the typical cylindrical design based on more feasible placement of solid neutron absorbers and more geometrically practical windows for radiation capture and directional detection.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]
  1. NanoTechLabs Inc., Yadkinville, NC (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
NanoTechLabs Inc., Yadkinville, NC (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Nuclear Physics (NP) (SC-26)
Contributing Org.:
Savannah River National Lab, Clemson University
OSTI Identifier:
1422507
Report Number(s):
SC0011350
DOE Contract Number:
SC0011350
Type / Phase:
STTR (Phase II)
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; Neutron Detector; Proportional Counter; Carbon Nanotube; Helium-3

Citation Formats

Craps, Matthew Greg. Development of a Nanomaterial Anode for a Low-Voltage Proportional Counter for Neutron Detection. United States: N. p., 2018. Web.
Craps, Matthew Greg. Development of a Nanomaterial Anode for a Low-Voltage Proportional Counter for Neutron Detection. United States.
Craps, Matthew Greg. Mon . "Development of a Nanomaterial Anode for a Low-Voltage Proportional Counter for Neutron Detection". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_1422507,
title = {Development of a Nanomaterial Anode for a Low-Voltage Proportional Counter for Neutron Detection},
author = {Craps, Matthew Greg},
abstractNote = {NanoTechLabs (NTL) in collaboration with the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) and Clemson University have continued development of a next generation proportional counter (PC) for neutron detection utilizing robust, inexpensive nanostructured anodes while maximizing neutron capture. Neutron detectors are vital to national security as they can be used to detect illicit trafficking of radioactive materials, which could mean the presence of or planning of a dirty bomb attack. Typical PCs operate with high bias potentials that create electronic noise. Incorporating nanomaterials into the anode of PCs can theoretically operate at low voltages (eg. 10-300V) due to an increase in the electric field associated with a smaller diameter nano-scale anode. In addition to the lower operating voltage, typical high PC voltages (500-1200V) could be used to generate a larger electric field resulting in more electrons being collected, thus increasing the sensitivity of the PC. Other advantages of nano-PC include reduced platform size, weight, cost, and improved ruggedness. Clemson modeled the electric field around the CNT array tips. NTL grew many ordered CNT arrays as well as control samples and densified the arrays to improve the performance. The primary objective for this work is to provide evidence of a commercially viable technique for reducing the voltage of a parallel plate proportional counter using nanosized anodes. The parallel plate geometry has advantages over the typical cylindrical design based on more feasible placement of solid neutron absorbers and more geometrically practical windows for radiation capture and directional detection.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Feb 26 00:00:00 EST 2018},
month = {Mon Feb 26 00:00:00 EST 2018}
}

Technical Report:
This technical report may be released as soon as February 26, 2022
Other availability
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