Using Backscattering to Enhance Efficiency in Neutron Detectors

T. Kittelmann, , K. Kanaki, E. Klinkby, X. X. Cai, C. P. Cooper-Jensen, R. Hall-Wilton
IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science

The principle of using strongly scattering materials to recover efficiency in detectors for neutron instruments, via backscattering of unconverted thermal neutrons, is discussed in general. The feasibility of the method is illustrated through Geant4-based simulations involving thermal neutrons impinging on a specific setup with a layer of polyethylene placed behind a single-layered boron-10 thin-film gaseous detector. The results show that detection efficiencies can be as much as doubled in the most ideal scenario, but with associated adverse contributions to spatial and timing resolutions of, respectively, centimeters and tens of microseconds. Potential mitigation techniques to contain the impact on resolution are investigated and are found to alleviate the issues to some degree, at a cost of reduced gain in efficiency.

Using Backscattering to Enhance Efficiency in Neutron Detectors