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Direction sensitive neutron detector

United States Patent

9,557,423
January 31, 2017
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A neutron detector includes a pressure vessel, an electrically conductive field cage assembly within the pressure vessel and an imaging subsystem. A pressurized gas mixture of CF.sub.4, .sup.3He and .sup.4He at respective partial pressures is used. The field cage establishes a relatively large drift region of low field strength, in which ionization electrons generated by neutron-He interactions are directed toward a substantially smaller amplification region of substantially higher field strength in which the ionization electrons undergo avalanche multiplication resulting in scintillation of the CF.sub.4 along scintillation tracks. The imaging system generates two-dimensional images of the scintillation patterns and employs track-finding to identify tracks and deduce the rate and direction of incident neutrons. One or more photo-multiplier tubes record the time-profile of the scintillation tracks permitting the determination of the third coordinate.
Ahlen; Steven (Wellesley, MA), Fisher; Peter (Cambridge, MA), Dujmic; Denis (Arlington, MA), Wellenstein; Hermann F. (Waltham, MA), Inglis; Andrew (Brighton, MA)
Trustees of Boston University (Boston, MA), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA), Brandeis University (Waltham, MA)
12/ 893,221
September 29, 2010
STATEMENT OF FEDERAL RIGHTS The invention was made with government support under the following grants: Grant No. DE-FG02-06ER41425 awarded by the Department of Energy; Grant No. DE-FG02-05ER41385 awarded by the Department of Energy; Grant No. PHY0653456 awarded by the National Science Foundation; Grant No. 2008-DN-077-ARI006.03 awarded by the Department of Homeland Security; and Grant No. DE-FG02-05ER41360 awarded by the Department of Energy The government has certain rights in the invention.