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Micro neutron detectors

United States Patent Application

20060023828
A1
View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Micro neutron detectors include relatively small pockets of gas including a neutron reactive material. During use, under a voltage bias in a neutron environment, neutron interactions in the neutron reactive material are seen to occur. Ultimately, electron-ion pairs form and positive ions drift to a cathode and electrons to the anode. The motion of charges then produces an induced current that is sensed and measurable, thereby indicating the presence of neutrons. Preferred pocket volumes range from a few cubic microns to about 1200 mm.sup.3; neutron reactive materials include fissionable, fertile or fissile material (or combinations), such as .sup.235U, .sup.238U, .sup.233U, .sup.232Th, .sup.239Pu, .sup.10B, .sup.6Li and .sup.6LiF; gasses include one or more of argon, P-10, .sup.3He, BF.sub.3, BF.sub.3, CO.sub.2, Xe, C.sub.4H.sub.10, CH.sub.4, C.sub.2H.sub.6, CF.sub.4, C.sub.3H.sub.8, dimethyl ether, C.sub.3H.sub.6 and C.sub.3H.sub.8. Arrangements include two- and three-piece sections, arrays (including or not triads capable of performing multiple detecting functions) and/or capillary channels.
McGregor, Douglas S. (Riley, KS), Ohmes, Martin F. (Manhattan, KS), Shultis, John K. (Manhattan, KS)
11/ 191,899
July 28, 2005
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT RIGHTS [0002] The invention was partially funded by the U.S. Government, under the Department of Energy, Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (NERI) Grant Number DE-FG03-02SF22611. Accordingly, the U.S. Government may reserve certain rights to its use.