Development of Compact Neutron Detectors using Pulse Shape Analysis

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: School of Physics and Astronomy


The project aims at developing a compact, low power neutron detector, which can identify neutrons in a background of other sources of ionising radiation exploiting differences in the time behaviour of the excitation and de-excitation of the scintillation material used. Such a detector system will find widespread applications in nuclear monitoring, nuclear safeguarding and homeland security.

The work will focus on studying four novel scintillation materials, aimed at neutrons of differieren energies. It will used low power semiconductor sensors and wave form digitisers to record and study the pulse shape of the output light as a function of time and for different types of incident radiation, from neutrons to alpha, beta and gamma radiation. The recorded wave forms will be studied offline using computing algorithms to extract the best figure of merit, identifying the most promising method with the highest signal-to-noise ratio. In the next step, this algorithm will be implemented into experimental hardware, either using FPGA based solutions or in analogue electronics to allow real-time discrimination between radiation types.

The detector system will then be tested against radiation sources at the University of Glasgow as well as in end-user focussed facilities at AWE.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ST/S005684/1 31/07/2019 31/12/2023
2656890 Studentship ST/S005684/1 30/09/2021 31/03/2025 David Bennett