A double-helix Boron-10 powder detector having intrinsic thermal neutron detection efficiency comparable to 36'' long, 2-in diameter, 2-bar Helium-3 detectors, and which can be used to replace such detectors for use in portal monitoring, is described. An embodiment of the detector includes a metallic plate coated with Boron-10 powder for generating alpha and Lithium-7 particles responsive to neutrons impinging thereon supported by insulators affixed to at least two opposing edges; a grounded first wire wound in a helical manner around two opposing insulators; and a second wire having a smaller diameter than that of the first wire, wound in a helical manner around the same insulators and spaced apart from the first wire, the second wire being positively biased. A gas, disposed within a gas-tight container enclosing the plate, insulators and wires, and capable of stopping alpha and Lithium-7 particles and generating electrons produces a signal on the second wire which is detected and subsequently related to the number of neutrons impinging on the plate.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERAL RIGHTS
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC52-06NA25396 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.