ECE Seminar Series: Large-Area High-Efficiency Solid-State Thermal Neutron Detector

ECE title

ECE Seminar Series Spring 2016

Thursday May 5th 1-2 PM, ITEB 336

Large-Area High-Efficiency Solid-State Thermal Neutron Detector

Rajendra Dahal

Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York

Abstract: The development of high-efficiency large-area solid-state neutron detectors is urgent for a wide range of civilian and defense applications; such as monitoring of “dirty bombs”, border patrol, medical and industrial imaging. The applications of present neutron detector systems are limited by cost, size, weight, and power requirements. An efficient self-powered, or low-power, solid-state neutron detector using mature silicon technology would provide significant benefits in terms of cost and volume. Also, it would allow wafer-level integration with readout electronics. This talk presents current research advances on fabrication and characterization of a large area solid-state thermal-neutron detector module with detection efficiency exceeding 30%. The detector utilizes three-dimensional honeycomb silicon microstructures, and a continuous p+-n junction diode filled with enriched boron (99% of 10B) as a converter material for thermal-neutron detection. The low leakage current density of the fabricated device helps to increase the detector surface area to greater than 16cm2. These results show promise in using such highly efficient large-area solid-state neutron detectors in home land security applications.


Short Bio: Dr. Rajendra Dahal is a Research Assistant Professor in the Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering Department here at Rensselaer. His current research interests include epitaxial growth of wide band-gap semiconductor thin films, such as 2D layered materials and nanostructures; fabrication of micro/nanostructures for efficient radiation detectors; and optoelectronic devices.