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Article

Boron-Based Neutron Scintillator Screens for Neutron Imaging

1
Advanced Post-Irradiation Examination Department, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID 83401, USA
2
Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum (FRM II) and Faculty for Physics E21, Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum (FRM II), Technische Universität München, 85748 Garching, Germany
3
DMI/Reading Imaging, Reading, MA 01867, USA
4
Le Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble INP, 3SR, 38000 Grenoble, France
5
Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL), 71 Avenue des Martyrs, 38000 Grenoble, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 October 2020 / Revised: 12 November 2020 / Accepted: 16 November 2020 / Published: 19 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neutron Imaging)
In digital neutron imaging, the neutron scintillator screen is a limiting factor of spatial resolution and neutron capture efficiency and must be improved to enhance the capabilities of digital neutron imaging systems. Commonly used neutron scintillators are based on 6LiF and gadolinium oxysulfide neutron converters. This work explores boron-based neutron scintillators because 10B has a neutron absorption cross-section four times greater than 6Li, less energetic daughter products than Gd and 6Li, and lower γ-ray sensitivity than Gd. These factors all suggest that, although borated neutron scintillators may not produce as much light as 6Li-based screens, they may offer improved neutron statistics and spatial resolution. This work conducts a parametric study to determine the effects of various boron neutron converters, scintillator and converter particle sizes, converter-to-scintillator mix ratio, substrate materials, and sensor construction on image quality. The best performing boron-based scintillator screens demonstrated an improvement in neutron detection efficiency when compared with a common 6LiF/ZnS scintillator, with a 125% increase in thermal neutron detection efficiency and 67% increase in epithermal neutron detection efficiency. The spatial resolution of high-resolution borated scintillators was measured, and the neutron tomography of a test object was successfully performed using some of the boron-based screens that exhibited the highest spatial resolution. For some applications, boron-based scintillators can be utilized to increase the performance of a digital neutron imaging system by reducing acquisition times and improving neutron statistics. View Full-Text
Keywords: neutron imaging; neutron radiography; digital imaging; neutron scintillator; scintillator screen; boron scintillator; scintillator characterization; scintillator detection efficiency; epithermal neutron imaging; neutron sensor neutron imaging; neutron radiography; digital imaging; neutron scintillator; scintillator screen; boron scintillator; scintillator characterization; scintillator detection efficiency; epithermal neutron imaging; neutron sensor
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chuirazzi, W.; Craft, A.; Schillinger, B.; Cool, S.; Tengattini, A. Boron-Based Neutron Scintillator Screens for Neutron Imaging. J. Imaging 2020, 6, 124. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jimaging6110124

AMA Style

Chuirazzi W, Craft A, Schillinger B, Cool S, Tengattini A. Boron-Based Neutron Scintillator Screens for Neutron Imaging. Journal of Imaging. 2020; 6(11):124. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jimaging6110124

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chuirazzi, William; Craft, Aaron; Schillinger, Burkhard; Cool, Steven; Tengattini, Alessandro. 2020. "Boron-Based Neutron Scintillator Screens for Neutron Imaging" J. Imaging 6, no. 11: 124. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jimaging6110124

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