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Title: Boron-Based Neutron Scintillator Screens for Neutron Imaging

Abstract

In digital neutron imaging, the neutron scintillator screen is a limiting factor of spatial resolution and neutron capture efficiency and must be improved to enhance the capabilities of digital neutron imaging systems. Commonly used neutron scintillators are based on 6LiF and gadolinium oxysulfide neutron converters. This work explores boron-based neutron scintillators because 10B has a neutron absorption cross-section four times greater than 6Li, less energetic daughter products than Gd and 6Li, and lower γ-ray sensitivity than Gd. These factors all suggest that, although borated neutron scintillators may not produce as much light as 6Li-based screens, they may offer improved neutron statistics and spatial resolution. This work conducts a parametric study to determine the effects of various boron neutron converters, scintillator and converter particle sizes, converter-to-scintillator mix ratio, substrate materials, and sensor construction on image quality. The best performing boron-based scintillator screens demonstrated an improvement in neutron detection efficiency when compared with a common 6LiF/ZnS scintillator, with a 125% increase in thermal neutron detection efficiency and 67% increase in epithermal neutron detection efficiency. The spatial resolution of high-resolution borated scintillators was measured, and the neutron tomography of a test object was successfully performed using some of the boron-based screens that exhibitedmore » the highest spatial resolution. For some applications, boron-based scintillators can be utilized to increase the performance of a digital neutron imaging system by reducing acquisition times and improving neutron statistics.« less

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [3];  [4]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
  2. Technische Univ. München, Garching (Germany)
  3. DMI/Reading Imaging, Reading, MA (United States)
  4. Univ. Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble (France); Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL), Grenoble (France)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program; USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1721670
Report Number(s):
INL/JOU-20-58248-Rev000
Journal ID: ISSN 2313-433X
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Imaging
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 2313-433X
Publisher:
MDPI
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; neutron imaging; neutron radiography; digital imaging; neutron scintillator; scintillator screen; boron scintillator; scintillator characterization; scintillator detection efficiency; epithermal neutron imaging; neutron sensor

Citation Formats

Chuirazzi, William C., Craft, Aaron E., Schillinger, Burkhard, Cool, Steven, and Tengattini, Alessandro. Boron-Based Neutron Scintillator Screens for Neutron Imaging. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. https://doi.org/10.3390/jimaging6110124.
Chuirazzi, William C., Craft, Aaron E., Schillinger, Burkhard, Cool, Steven, & Tengattini, Alessandro. Boron-Based Neutron Scintillator Screens for Neutron Imaging. United States. https://doi.org/10.3390/jimaging6110124
Chuirazzi, William C., Craft, Aaron E., Schillinger, Burkhard, Cool, Steven, and Tengattini, Alessandro. Thu . "Boron-Based Neutron Scintillator Screens for Neutron Imaging". United States. https://doi.org/10.3390/jimaging6110124. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1721670.
@article{osti_1721670,
title = {Boron-Based Neutron Scintillator Screens for Neutron Imaging},
author = {Chuirazzi, William C. and Craft, Aaron E. and Schillinger, Burkhard and Cool, Steven and Tengattini, Alessandro},
abstractNote = {In digital neutron imaging, the neutron scintillator screen is a limiting factor of spatial resolution and neutron capture efficiency and must be improved to enhance the capabilities of digital neutron imaging systems. Commonly used neutron scintillators are based on 6LiF and gadolinium oxysulfide neutron converters. This work explores boron-based neutron scintillators because 10B has a neutron absorption cross-section four times greater than 6Li, less energetic daughter products than Gd and 6Li, and lower γ-ray sensitivity than Gd. These factors all suggest that, although borated neutron scintillators may not produce as much light as 6Li-based screens, they may offer improved neutron statistics and spatial resolution. This work conducts a parametric study to determine the effects of various boron neutron converters, scintillator and converter particle sizes, converter-to-scintillator mix ratio, substrate materials, and sensor construction on image quality. The best performing boron-based scintillator screens demonstrated an improvement in neutron detection efficiency when compared with a common 6LiF/ZnS scintillator, with a 125% increase in thermal neutron detection efficiency and 67% increase in epithermal neutron detection efficiency. The spatial resolution of high-resolution borated scintillators was measured, and the neutron tomography of a test object was successfully performed using some of the boron-based screens that exhibited the highest spatial resolution. For some applications, boron-based scintillators can be utilized to increase the performance of a digital neutron imaging system by reducing acquisition times and improving neutron statistics.},
doi = {10.3390/jimaging6110124},
journal = {Journal of Imaging},
number = 11,
volume = 6,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {11}
}

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