Development of B4C Thin Films for Neutron Detection

스퍼터링 코팅기법을 이용한 중성자 검출용 B4C 박막 개발

  • Received : 2015.02.23
  • Accepted : 2015.06.11
  • Published : 2015.06.30


$^3He$ gas has been used for neutron monitors as the neutron converter owing to its advantages such as high sensitivity, good ${\gamma}$-discrimination capability, and long-term stability. However, $^3He$ is becoming more difficult to obtain in last few years due to a global shortage of $^3He$ gas. Accordingly, the cost of a neutron monitor using $^3He$ gas as a neutron converter is becoming more expensive. Demand on a neutron monitor using an alternative neutron conversion material is widely increased. $^{10}B$ has many advantages among various $^3He$ alternative materials, as a neutron converter. In order to develop a neutron converter using $^{10}B$ (actually $B_4C$), we calculated the optimal thickness of a neutron converter with a Monte Carlo simulation using MCNP6. In addition, a neutron converter was fabricated by the Ar sputtering method and the neutron signal detection efficiencies were measured with respect to various thicknesses of fabricated a neutron converter. Also, we developed a 2-dimensional multi-wire proportional chamber (MWPC) for neutron beam profile monitoring using the fabricated a neutron converter, and performed experiments for neutron response of the neutron monitor at the 30 MW research reactor HANARO at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute. The 2-dimensional MWPC with boron ($B_4C$) neutron converter was proved to be useful for neutron beam monitoring, and can be applied to other types of neutron imaging.


Grant : U-기반 해운물류 안전보안 시스템 개발

Supported by : 한국해양과학기술진흥원


  1. Person TM, Aloise G, Neutron Detectors-Alternatives to Using Helium-3. United States Government Accountability Office GAO-11-753. 2011.
  2. Hurd AJ, Kouzes TK. Why new neutron detector materials must replace helium-3. Eur Phys J Plus. 2014;129(236):1-3.
  3. Shea DA, Morgan D. The Helium-3 Shortage: Supply, Demand, and Options for Congress. Congressional Research Service R41419. 2010
  4. Lintereur A, Conlin K, Ely J, Ely J, Erikson L, Kouzes R, Siciliano E, Stromswold D, Woodring M. 3He and BF3 neutron detector pressure effect and model comparison. Nucl Instrum Meth A. 2011; 652:347-350.
  5. Kouzes RT, Ely JH. Status summary of 3He and Neutron detection alternatives for homeland security. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory PNNL-19360, 2010.
  6. Wang Z, Morris CL. Multi-layer boron thin-film detectors for neutrons. Nucl Instrum Meth A. 2011; 652:323-325.
  7. Hoglund C, Birch J, Andersen K, Bigault T, Buffet J-C, Correa J, Esch P, Guerard B, Hall-Wilton R, Jensen J, Khaplanov A, Piscitelli F, Vettier C, Vollenberg W, Hultman L, $B_4C$ thin films for neutron detection. J Appl Phys. 2012;111:104908.
  8. Cho S-J, Seung B-S, Lee C-H, Kim H-R, Development of a neutron guide tube production technique at KAERI. Physica B 2006;385-386:1259-1261.