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Title: Detecting sub-MeV neutrons in solid plastic scintillator with gamma-ray discrimination

Abstract

We report on recent efforts to design a solid plastic scintillation hodoscope to measure neutron production cross sections at low energies. Our program includes not only the development of the detector itself, but also a set of auxiliary measurements which will help characterize its low-energy response. A novel scintillation counter has been developed to detect sub-MeV neutrons while rejecting gamma-ray backgrounds with good efficiency. The detector uses multiple layers of thin solid scintillator, with optical isolation between the adjacent layers. Incident low-energy neutrons produce ionizing recoil particles which remain within just one of the scintillator layers, while background gamma rays create electrons which most often cross the boundary between layers. By observing the trigger pattern within the layers, most gamma-ray backgrounds can be distinguished from the low-energy neutrons of interest. We report on the results of our Monte Carlo studies of this design, as well as on the operation of a prototype detector unit. We also have undertaken a new measurement of the neutron-proton total cross section below 1 MeV. Calculations of the efficiency for detecting low energy neutrons in plastic scintillator rely on accurate low energy n-p cross sections, yet surprisingly few such data currently exist. New measurements whichmore » span the region from 150 to 800 keV neutron (lab) energy are reported and discussed. Additionally, we have measured the light response of BC 418 scintillator for recoil proton energies as low as 100 keV. Recoil protons are produced at a known energy in the scintillator by placing it in a neutron beam and detecting in coincidence the elastically scattered neutrons at fixed angle. Our new results extend the energy range of previous measurements of the light response of solid organic scintillators, and may indicate a significantly modified response at the lowest observed energies. (authors)« less

Authors:
 [1]; ; ;  [2];  [1];  [2]; ;  [1]
  1. Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Univ. of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506 (United States)
  2. Dept. of Physics, Massachusetts Inst. of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22039851
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: ANIMMA 2011: 2. International Conference on Advancements in Nuclear Instrumentation, Measurement Methods and their Applications, Ghent (Belgium), 6-9 Jun 2011; Other Information: Country of input: France; 3 refs.; IEEE Catalog Number: CFP1124I-CDR
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; EFFICIENCY; GAMMA RADIATION; KEV RANGE; MEV RANGE; MONTE CARLO METHOD; NEUTRON BEAMS; NEUTRON DETECTION; NEUTRONS; PLASTIC SCINTILLATORS; PROTON RECOIL DETECTORS; PROTON-NEUTRON INTERACTIONS; SCINTILLATION COUNTERS; TOTAL CROSS SECTIONS; VISIBLE RADIATION

Citation Formats

Kovash, M A, Daub, B, French, J, Henzl, V, Shoniyozov, K, Matthews, J L, Miller, Z, and Yang, H. Detecting sub-MeV neutrons in solid plastic scintillator with gamma-ray discrimination. United States: N. p., 2011. Web. doi:10.1109/ANIMMA.2011.6172833.
Kovash, M A, Daub, B, French, J, Henzl, V, Shoniyozov, K, Matthews, J L, Miller, Z, & Yang, H. Detecting sub-MeV neutrons in solid plastic scintillator with gamma-ray discrimination. United States. https://doi.org/10.1109/ANIMMA.2011.6172833
Kovash, M A, Daub, B, French, J, Henzl, V, Shoniyozov, K, Matthews, J L, Miller, Z, and Yang, H. Fri . "Detecting sub-MeV neutrons in solid plastic scintillator with gamma-ray discrimination". United States. https://doi.org/10.1109/ANIMMA.2011.6172833.
@article{osti_22039851,
title = {Detecting sub-MeV neutrons in solid plastic scintillator with gamma-ray discrimination},
author = {Kovash, M A and Daub, B and French, J and Henzl, V and Shoniyozov, K and Matthews, J L and Miller, Z and Yang, H},
abstractNote = {We report on recent efforts to design a solid plastic scintillation hodoscope to measure neutron production cross sections at low energies. Our program includes not only the development of the detector itself, but also a set of auxiliary measurements which will help characterize its low-energy response. A novel scintillation counter has been developed to detect sub-MeV neutrons while rejecting gamma-ray backgrounds with good efficiency. The detector uses multiple layers of thin solid scintillator, with optical isolation between the adjacent layers. Incident low-energy neutrons produce ionizing recoil particles which remain within just one of the scintillator layers, while background gamma rays create electrons which most often cross the boundary between layers. By observing the trigger pattern within the layers, most gamma-ray backgrounds can be distinguished from the low-energy neutrons of interest. We report on the results of our Monte Carlo studies of this design, as well as on the operation of a prototype detector unit. We also have undertaken a new measurement of the neutron-proton total cross section below 1 MeV. Calculations of the efficiency for detecting low energy neutrons in plastic scintillator rely on accurate low energy n-p cross sections, yet surprisingly few such data currently exist. New measurements which span the region from 150 to 800 keV neutron (lab) energy are reported and discussed. Additionally, we have measured the light response of BC 418 scintillator for recoil proton energies as low as 100 keV. Recoil protons are produced at a known energy in the scintillator by placing it in a neutron beam and detecting in coincidence the elastically scattered neutrons at fixed angle. Our new results extend the energy range of previous measurements of the light response of solid organic scintillators, and may indicate a significantly modified response at the lowest observed energies. (authors)},
doi = {10.1109/ANIMMA.2011.6172833},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/22039851}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2011},
month = {7}
}

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