Characterization of a GEM-based fast neutron detector

B. Esposito, D. Marocco, R. Villari, F. Murtas, R. Rodionov

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The neutron efficiency of a Gas Electron Multiplier (GEM)-based detector designed for fast neutron measurements in fusion devices was determined through the combined use of Monte Carlo (MCNPX) calculations and analysis of deuterium-deuterium and deuterium-tritium neutron irradiation experiments. The detector, characterized by a triple GEM structure flushed with a Ar/CO2/CF4- 45/15/40 gas mixture, features a digital read-out system and has two sub-units for the detection of 2.5+14 MeV neutrons and 14 MeV neutrons (UDDand UDT, respectively). The pulse height spectra (PHS) determined from the curves of experimental efficiency as a function of the detector's high voltage (HV) and the MCNPX-simulated PHS were compared using a fitting routine that finds the best match between the experimental and simulated PHS by assuming a parametric model for the relation between HV (that determines the detector's gain) and the energy deposited in the gas. This led to express the experimental neutron efficiency as a function of the discrimination level set on the deposited energy (energy threshold). The detector sensitivity to γ-rays was also analyzed and the operational range in which the γ-ray contribution to the signal is not negligible was determined. It is found that this detector can reach a maximum neutron efficiency of ∼1×10-3counts/n at 2.5 MeV (UDDsub-unit) and of ∼4×10-3counts/n at 14 MeV (UDTand UDDsub-units). © 2014 The Authors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196 - 204
Number of pages9
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

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