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Kruschwitz C.A.,National Security Technologies LLCNM | Mukhopadhyay S.,National Security Technologies LLC | Schwellenbach D.,National Security Technologies LLCNM | Meek T.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville | And 3 more authors.
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2014

This paper reports on recent attempts to develop and test a new type of solid-state neutron detector fabricated from uranium compounds. It has been known for many years that uranium oxide (UO2), triuranium octoxide (U3O8) and other uranium compounds exhibit semiconducting characteristics with a broad range of electrical properties. We seek to exploit these characteristics to make a direct-conversion semiconductor neutron detector. In such a device a neutron interacts with a uranium nucleus, inducing fission. The fission products deposit energy-producing, detectable electron-hole pairs. The high energy released in the fission reaction indicates that noise discrimination in such a device has the potential to be excellent. Schottky devices were fabricated using a chemical deposition coating technique to deposit UO2 layers a few microns thick on a sapphire substrate. Schottky devices have also been made using a single crystal from UO2 samples approximately 500 microns thick. Neutron sensitivity simulations have been performed using GEANT4. Neutron sensitivity for the Schottky devices was tested experimentally using a 252Cf source. © 2014 SPIE.

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