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Fast digitization and discrimination of prompt neutron and photon signals using a novel silicon carbide detector

Description: Current requirements of some Homeland Security active interrogation projects for the detection of Special Nuclear Material (SNM) necessitate the development of faster inspection and acquisition capabilities. In order to do so, fast detectors which can operate during and shortly after intense interrogation radiation flashes are being developed. Novel silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductor Schottky diodes have been utilized as robust neutron and photon detectors in both pulsed photon and pulsed neutron fields and are being integrated into active inspection environments to allow exploitation of both prompt and delayed emissions. These detectors have demonstrated the capability of detecting both photon and neutron events during intense photon flashes typical of an active inspection environment. Beyond the inherent insensitivity of SiC to gamma radiation, fast digitization and processing has demonstrated that pulse shape discrimination (PSD) in combination with amplitude discrimination can further suppress unwanted gamma signals and extract fast neutron signatures. Usable neutron signals have been extracted from mixed radiation fields where the background has exceeded the signals of interest by >1000:1.
Date: April 1, 2007
Creator: Blackburn, Brandon W.; Johnson, James T.; Watson, Scott M.; Chichester, David L.; Jones, James L.; Ruddy, Frank H. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department