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GaN-Based Neutron Scintillators with a 6LiF Conversion Layer

  • Andrew G. Melton (a1), Eric Burgett (a2), Nolan Hertel (a3) and Ian T. Ferguson (a1)

Abstract

Thin film gallium nitride (GaN) scintillators have been produced by MOCVD and made neutron-sensitive by applying an enriched lithium-6 fluoride (6LiF) conversion layer. The 6Li(n,α) reaction produces both alpha and triton particles, which have very penetration depths in GaN. The range and energy deposition characteristics of these particles in GaN have been simulated. Alpha-induced scintillation was measured in silicon-doped GaN using an americium-241 (241Am) source. The thermal neutron responses of the 6LiF-coated GaN scintillator were tested using two thermal neutron sources, an 241Am-Be source inside a graphite pile and a reactor source. The scintillator was found to have a linear response to thermal neutron flux level over a range of more than three orders of magnitude.

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1. Ionascut-Nedelcescu, A., Carlone, C., Houdayer, A., von Bardeleben, H. J., Cantin, J. L., and Raymond, S., “Radiation hardness of gallium nitride,” IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science, vol. 49, pp. 2733–8 , 2002.
2. Burgett, E., Hertel, N. E., and Lee, W., “Thermal Neutron Collimated Beam Line, “ Transactions of the American Nuclear Society, vol. 93, pp. 600602, 2008.

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