Characterization of 3D thermal neutron semiconductor detectors
NIM A 576 (2007) 32-37
Neutron semiconductor detectors for neutron counting and neutron radiography have an increasing importance. Simple silicon neutron detectors are combination of a planar diode with a layer of an appropriate neutron converter such as 6LiF. These devices have limited detection efficiency of not more than 5%. The detection efficiency can be increased by creating a 3D microstructure of dips, trenches or pores in the detector and filling it with a neutron converter. The first results related to the development of such devices are presented. Silicon detectors were fabricated with pyramidal dips on the surface covered with 6LiF and then irradiated by thermal neutrons. Pulse height spectra of the energy deposited in the sensitive volume were compared with simulations. The detection efficiency of these devices was about 6.3%. Samples with different column sizes were fabricated to study the electrical properties of 3D structures. Charge collection efficiencies in silicon columns from 10 to 800 μm wide and 80–200 μm high were measured with alpha particles.
The neutron detection efficiency of a full 3D structure was simulated. The results indicate an increase in detection efficiency by a factor of 6 in comparison with a standard planar neutron detector.
Cite article as:
G. Thungstrom, "Characterization of 3D thermal neutron semiconductor detectors", NIM A 576 (2007) 32-37 (2007)