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Title: Model-based design evaluation of a compact, high-efficiency neutron scatter camera

This paper presents the model-based design and evaluation of an instrument that estimates incident neutron direction using the kinematics of neutron scattering by hydrogen-1 nuclei in an organic scintillator. The instrument design uses a single, nearly contiguous volume of organic scintillator that is internally subdivided only as necessary to create optically isolated pillars, i.e., long, narrow parallelepipeds of organic scintillator. Scintillation light emitted in a given pillar is confined to that pillar by a combination of total internal reflection and a specular reflector applied to the four sides of the pillar transverse to its long axis. The scintillation light is collected at each end of the pillar using a photodetector, e.g., a microchannel plate photomultiplier (MCPPM) or a silicon photomultiplier (SiPM). In this optically segmented design, the (x, y) position of scintillation light emission (where the x and y coordinates are transverse to the long axis of the pillars) is estimated as the pillar’s (x, y) position in the scintillator ‘‘block’’, and the z-position (the position along the pillar’s long axis) is estimated from the amplitude and relative timing of the signals produced by the photodetectors at each end of the pillar. The neutron’s incident direction and energy is estimatedmore » from the (x, y, z)-positions of two sequential neutron–proton scattering interactions in the scintillator block using elastic scatter kinematics. For proton recoils greater than 1 MeV, we show that the (x, y, z)-position of neutron–proton scattering can be estimated with < 1 cm root-mean-squared [RMS] error and the proton recoil energy can be estimated with < 50 keV RMS error by fitting the photodetectors’ response time history to models of optical photon transport within the scintillator pillars. Finally, we evaluate several alternative designs of this proposed single-volume scatter camera made of pillars of plastic scintillator (SVSC-PiPS), studying the effect of pillar dimensions, scintillator material (EJ-204, EJ-232Q and stilbene), and photodetector (MCP-PM vs. SiPM) response vs. time. Here, we demonstrate that the most precise estimates of incident neutron direction and energy can be obtained using a combination of scintillator material with high luminosity and a photodetector with a narrow impulse response. Specifically, we conclude that an SVSC-PiPS constructed using EJ-204 (a high luminosity plastic scintillator) and an MCP-PM will produce the most precise estimates of incident neutron direction and energy.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States)
  2. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section A, Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 883; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0168-9002
Research Org:
Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE NA Office of Nonproliferation and Verification Research and Development (NA-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: