Thermal neutron conversion by high purity 10B-enriched layers: PLD-growth, thickness-dependence and neutron-detection performances
Department of Mathematics and Physics “Ennio De Giorgi”, University of Salento, Lecce, Italy
2 National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN), Lecce, Italy
3 CEDAD (Centro of Applied Physics, Dating and Diagnostics)-Department of Mathematics and Physics “Ennio De Giorgi”, University of Salento, Lecce, Italy
4 National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) – Laboratori Nazionali del Sud, Catania, Italy
5 National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) – Sezione Di Catania, Catania, Italy
6 Department of Engineering for Innovation, University of Salento, Lecce, Italy
Accepted: 24 February 2022
Published online: 7 April 2022
Neutron applications and detection are of paramount importance in industry, medicine, scientific research, homeland security, production of extreme UV optics and so on. Neutron detection requires a converter element that, as a result of its interaction with neutrons, produces reaction products (mainly charged particles) whose detection can be correlated with the neutron flux. Reduced availability and increased cost of the most used converter element, 3He, have triggered research efforts for alternative materials, proper deposition methods and new detector architectures. 10B converter is a valid alternative to 3He thanks to its high thermal neutron cross section and relatively high Q value. In this paper we report on the room temperature Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) of high quality and uniform 10B films with the expected density, different thickness values (0.5, 1.0, 1.2, 1.5 and 2.0 μm) and uniform thickness over a circular area of about 30 mm in diameter. Additionally, they are adherent to the substrate with a negligible presence of contaminants. The conversion properties of such 10B coatings coupled to a Si solid state detector are studied upon exposure to a neutron flux from an Am-Be neutron source (2.2·106 n/s). The experimental results, compared with spectra simulated by using a GEANT4 code, present a good agreement and efficiencies of the order of a few percent.
© The Author(s) 2022. corrected publication 2022
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.