Methods for manufacturing solid-state thermal neutron detectors with simultaneous high thermal neutron detection efficiency (>50%) and neutron to gamma discrimination (>10.sup.4) are provided. A structure is provided that includes a p+ region on a first side of an intrinsic region and an n+ region on a second side of the intrinsic region. The thickness of the intrinsic region is minimized to achieve a desired gamma discrimination factor of at least 1.0E+04. Material is removed from one of the p+ region or the n+ region and into the intrinsic layer to produce pillars with open space between each pillar. The open space is filed with a neutron sensitive material. An electrode is placed in contact with the pillars and another electrode is placed in contact with the side that is opposite of the intrinsic layer with respect to the first electrode.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.