Recent Neutron Detector Development at BYU

Dr. Lawrence Rees
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Brigham Young University

In the last few years we have developed several new neutron detectors that are suitable for a variety of applications. Two common threads in all of our designs are that they use neutron capture and scintillation. Some detectors use capture in 6-Li glass to detect neutrons. One version of this detector has excellent gamma-neutron discrimination capability. Another version of this detector has proven reliable in shielding studies. Most of our detectors, however, are cadmium capture-gated detectors that employ dual signals – a proton recoil pulse flowed by a cadmium capture pulse –  to discriminate neutrons from gammas while also giving a neutron response function that is correlated with energy. In addition to describing specific detectors, I will also talk about some things that we have learned about neutron detection in the course of this project.