T. Block, M. Gruber, S. Gurbuz, J. Kaminski , M. Lupberger, D. Pal, L. Rodriguez Gomez, P. Schwaebig, K. Desch
PISA2022: Particle Physics Readout Electronics and Novel Detector Technologies for Neutron Science
NIMA 1046 (2023) 167753
Traditional thermal neutron detectors are based on Helium-3 as conversion and detection material due to its large neutron cross- section. The difficult availability of this converter and the simultaneous higher demand for neutron detectors lead to the investigation of alternatives. Solid converters with a large thermal cross-section as boron or gadolinium, which emit charged particles when hit by a neutron are a prominent type. Similar to the concepts in particle physics, the techniques then rely on charged particle detection. A prime example is the Gadolinium Gas Electron Multiplier (GdGEM) detector for the NMX instrument at ESS. We present three further novel concepts for neutron detectors. By modifying existing detector principles with a solid converter and employing recent high-granular readout electronics from particle physics we aim at developing thermal neutron detectors beyond the state-of-the-art. The first concept combines the Timepix3 data-driven, self-triggered readout chip with a boronated Micro-Channel Plate. The second concept is a Time Projection Chamber with boronated scintillator walls. The third concept combines boronated segmented GEMs with a VMM3a-based strip readout. This proceeding introduces the novel concepts, outlines how they could go beyond the state-of-the-art, sketches the current progress and obstacles overcome and, where available, presents first measurement results. The project, even though at an interme- diate stage, shows the high value of technology transfer between disciplines and the originality required to start such a process.