Optimization of electrochemical-etching parameters for highly sensitive CR-39 fast neutron dosimeters
Description: Voltage gradient and frequency were studied for their influence on the electrochemical etching of CR-39 plastic irradiated with fission spectrum, fast neutrons. A power supply having outputs of up to 1.5 kV (rms) and 5 kHz was used. Differential leakage current measurements under non-etching conditions indicated that the optimal values in electrochemical etching would be 20 kV/cm and 1.3 kHz. That these parameters produced a maximum sensitivity was verified in subsequent electrochemical etching experiments with foils that were both unirradiated and irradiated. The introduction of a proton irradiator cover and a conventional etching step prior to the electrochemical etching, increased the sensitivity to neutrons (approx. 30-fold) and decreased the background track density to 4.4 +- 0.6 tracks/cm/sup 2/. The corresponding sensitivity was then 1.3 tracks/cm/sup 2//mrem with a minimum level of detectability (3sigma) of 1.4 mrem.
Date: January 1, 1981
Creator: Gammage, R.B. & Chowdhury, A.
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