Novel Neutron Spectrometer

Novel Neutron Spectrometer

Docket: UAH-P-15019, 15020


Many neutron detection techniques are based on nuclear interactions with specifically selected target nuclei, e.g. helium-3, lithium-6, boron-10, and gadolinium-157,155. Of these, the lithium-6 reaction has a clearly defined single decay mode with the highest charge value, imparting the most energy to the heavy decay products for easier identification.

Among previously designed neutron detectors based on Lithium-loaded glass scintillators, one primary deficiency has been their sensitivity to gamma radiation. However, when one applies a thick coating of Li-loaded scintillating glass fibers, the gamma ray sensitivity is greatly suppressed.

Researchers at UAH have developed a novel neutron spectrometer that utilizes such a composition of Li-loaded scintillators and cladding of a proprietary material blend. The novel spectrometer’s scintillation light from its fiber ends are acquired by PMTs connected to a special circuit that further reduces false triggers due to the PMT noise.


  • Particle physics
  • Neutron detection


  • Reduced sensitivity to gamma radiation
  • Reduction of false triggers due to photomultiplier tube noise
  • Higher efficiency


  • State of Development: Prototype
  • Licensing Status: Available for licensing
  • Patent Status: Proprietary