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Title: Realization of highly efficient hexagonal boron nitride neutron detectors

Abstract

Here, we report the achievement of highly efficient 10B enriched hexagonal boron nitride (h- 10BN) direct conversion neutron detectors. These detectors were realized from freestanding 4-in. diameter h- 10BN wafers 43 μm in thickness obtained from epitaxy growth and subsequent mechanical separation from sapphire substrates. Both sides of the film were subjected to ohmic contact deposition to form a simple vertical “photoconductor-type” detector. Transport measurements revealed excellent vertical transport properties including high electrical resistivity (>10 13 Ω cm) and mobility-lifetime (μτ) products. A much larger μτ product for holes compared to that of electrons along the c-axis of h- BN was observed, implying that holes (electrons) behave like majority (minority) carriers in undoped h- BN. Exposure to thermal neutrons from a californium-252 ( 252Cf) source moderated by a high density polyethylene moderator reveals that 43 μm h- 10BN detectors possess 51.4% detection efficiency at a bias voltage of 400 V, which is the highest reported efficiency for any semiconductor-based neutron detector. The results point to the possibility of obtaining highly efficient, compact solid-state neutron detectors with high gamma rejection and low manufacturing and maintenance costs.

Authors:
 [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Texas Tech Univ., Lubbock, TX (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Texas Tech Univ., Lubbock, TX (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE); USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); National Science Foundation (NSF); US Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
OSTI Identifier:
1330680
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1295951
Grant/Contract Number:  
NA0002927; 2011-DN- 077-ARI048; ECCS-1402886
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Applied Physics Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 109; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 0003-6951
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; wide bandgap semiconductors; solid-state neutron detector materials; direct conversion neutron detectors; He-3 gap replacement detectors; III-V semiconductors; neutrons; electrons; transport properties; electrical resistivity

Citation Formats

Maity, A., Doan, T. C., Li, J., Lin, J. Y., and Jiang, H. X. Realization of highly efficient hexagonal boron nitride neutron detectors. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4960522.
Maity, A., Doan, T. C., Li, J., Lin, J. Y., & Jiang, H. X. Realization of highly efficient hexagonal boron nitride neutron detectors. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4960522.
Maity, A., Doan, T. C., Li, J., Lin, J. Y., and Jiang, H. X. Tue . "Realization of highly efficient hexagonal boron nitride neutron detectors". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4960522. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1330680.
@article{osti_1330680,
title = {Realization of highly efficient hexagonal boron nitride neutron detectors},
author = {Maity, A. and Doan, T. C. and Li, J. and Lin, J. Y. and Jiang, H. X.},
abstractNote = {Here, we report the achievement of highly efficient 10B enriched hexagonal boron nitride (h- 10BN) direct conversion neutron detectors. These detectors were realized from freestanding 4-in. diameter h- 10BN wafers 43 μm in thickness obtained from epitaxy growth and subsequent mechanical separation from sapphire substrates. Both sides of the film were subjected to ohmic contact deposition to form a simple vertical “photoconductor-type” detector. Transport measurements revealed excellent vertical transport properties including high electrical resistivity (>1013 Ω cm) and mobility-lifetime (μτ) products. A much larger μτ product for holes compared to that of electrons along the c-axis of h- BN was observed, implying that holes (electrons) behave like majority (minority) carriers in undoped h- BN. Exposure to thermal neutrons from a californium-252 (252Cf) source moderated by a high density polyethylene moderator reveals that 43 μm h- 10BN detectors possess 51.4% detection efficiency at a bias voltage of 400 V, which is the highest reported efficiency for any semiconductor-based neutron detector. The results point to the possibility of obtaining highly efficient, compact solid-state neutron detectors with high gamma rejection and low manufacturing and maintenance costs.},
doi = {10.1063/1.4960522},
journal = {Applied Physics Letters},
number = 7,
volume = 109,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {8}
}

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Works referenced in this record:

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journal, November 2014

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