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Method for detecting and distinguishing between specific types of environmental radiation using a high pressure ionization chamber with pulse-mode readout

United States Patent

December 19, 2017
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An environmental radiation detector for detecting and distinguishing between all types of environmental radiation, including photons, charged particles, and neutrons. A large volume high pressure ionization chamber (HPIC) includes BF.sub.3 gas at a specific concentration to render the radiation detector sensitive to the reactions of neutron capture in Boron-10 isotope. A pulse-mode readout is connected to the ionization chamber capable of measuring both the height and the width of the pulse. The heavy charged products of the neutron capture reaction deposit significant characteristic energy of the reaction in the immediate vicinity of the reaction in the gas, producing a signal with a pulse height proportional to the reaction energy, and a narrow pulse width corresponding to the essentially pointlike energy deposition in the gas. Readout of the pulse height and the pulse width parameters of the signals enables distinguishing between the different types of environmental radiation, such as gamma (x-rays), cosmic muons, and neutrons.
Degtiarenko; Pavel V. (Williamsburg, VA)
14/ 919,826
October 22, 2015
The United States Government may have certain rights to this invention under Management and Operating Contract No. DE-AC05-060R23177 from the Department of Energy.