Si pillar structured thermal neutron detectors: Fabrication challenges and performance expectations

R. J. Nikolic, Q. Shao, L. F. Voss, A. M. Conway, R. Radev, T. F. Wang, M. Dar, N. Deo, C. L. Cheung, L. Fabris, C. L. Britton, M. N. Ericson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Solid-state thermal neutron detectors are desired to replace 3He tube tube-based technology for the detection of special nuclear materials. 3He tubes have some issues with stability, sensitivity to microphonics and very recently, a shortage of 3He. There are numerous solid-state approaches being investigated that utilize various architectures and material combinations. Our approach is based on the combination of high-aspect-ratio silicon PIN pillars, which are 2 μm wide with a 2 μm separation, arranged in a square matrix, and surrounded by 10B, the neutron converter material. To date, our highest efficiency is ∼ 20 % for a pillar height of 26 μm. An efficiency of greater than 50 % is predicted for our device, while maintaining high gamma rejection and low power operation once adequate device scaling is carried out. Estimated required pillar height to meet this goal is ∼ 50 μm. The fabrication challenges related to 10B deposition and etching as well as planarization of the three-dimensional structure is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMicro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications III
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011
EventMicro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications III - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: Apr 25 2011Apr 29 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume8031
ISSN (Print)0277-786X

Conference

ConferenceMicro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications III
CountryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL
Period4/25/114/29/11

Keywords

  • Thermal neutron detector
  • boron-10
  • helium tube replacements
  • pillar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Si pillar structured thermal neutron detectors: Fabrication challenges and performance expectations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Nikolic, R. J., Shao, Q., Voss, L. F., Conway, A. M., Radev, R., Wang, T. F., Dar, M., Deo, N., Cheung, C. L., Fabris, L., Britton, C. L., & Ericson, M. N. (2011). Si pillar structured thermal neutron detectors: Fabrication challenges and performance expectations. In Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications III [803109] (Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering; Vol. 8031). https://doi.org/10.1117/12.885880