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Title: Hybrid superconducting neutron detectors

A neutron detection concept is presented that is based on superconductive niobium (Nb) strips coated by a boron (B) layer. The working principle of the detector relies on the nuclear reaction, {sup 10}B + n → α + {sup 7}Li, with α and Li ions generating a hot spot on the current-biased Nb strip which in turn induces a superconducting-normal state transition. The latter is recognized as a voltage signal which is the evidence of the incident neutron. The above described detection principle has been experimentally assessed and verified by irradiating the samples with a pulsed neutron beam at the ISIS spallation neutron source (UK). It is found that the boron coated superconducting strips, kept at a temperature T = 8 K and current-biased below the critical current I{sub c}, are driven into the normal state upon thermal neutron irradiation. As a result of the transition, voltage pulses in excess of 40 mV are measured while the bias current can be properly modulated to bring the strip back to the superconducting state, thus resetting the detector. Measurements on the counting rate of the device are presented and the basic physical features of the detector are discussed.
Authors:
; ;  [1] ; ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [2]
  1. Dipartimento di Fisica, Università Tor Vergata, Via della Ricerca Scientifica, I-00133 Roma (Italy)
  2. (Italy)
  3. Science and Technology Facility Council, ISIS Facility Chilton, Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 0QX (United Kingdom)
  4. ENEA Frascati Research Centre, Via. E. Fermi 45, 00044 Frascati (Italy)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22395775
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Physics Letters; Journal Volume: 106; Journal Issue: 11; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; BORON; BORON 10; COUNTING RATES; CRITICAL CURRENT; ELECTRIC POTENTIAL; IRRADIATION; LAYERS; LITHIUM 7; LITHIUM IONS; NEUTRON BEAMS; NEUTRON DETECTION; NEUTRON DETECTORS; NEUTRON SOURCES; NIOBIUM; SIGNALS; SPALLATION; SUPERCONDUCTORS; THERMAL NEUTRONS