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Neutron Detectors

The ILL can support industrial R&D in its quest for technological development.
We intervene in challenging problem-solving situations and exploratory projects.

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Technology Transfer

Contact: Bruno Guérard

Beam monitors

The beam monitors developed at the ILL provide counting dynamics 10 to 100 times higher than those commercially available, allowing more precise monitoring of the beam flux. They have been produced in different sizes and with different detection efficiencies starting from 10-9.

We have developed counting electronics providing a TTL signal usable on standard acquisition systems and a data display (instantaneous counting range, high voltage values, discrimination threshold voltage, ...). The system can also be used in association with proportional counter tubes for radiation safety controls or similar.
Since 2007 we have produced 10 beam monitors, one of which was delivered to SNS, another to ISIS.
5 electronics units were produced for the ILL's Health Physics service.
Plans for the future: 1-D (already commissioned) and 2-D position-sensitive beam monitors.

Multitube detectors

This ILL-patented technology is used on the time-of-flight instrument IN5. The surface of detection achieved (30 m2) is the largest ever achieved so far in neutron instrumentation. Its main advantage over the individual position-sensitive counters commercially available today is the cost of production. The aluminium multitube model currently under development will bring further advantages in the future: the square-shaped tubes will be machined within a massive aluminium block to increase detection efficiency and uniformity. The transparency of aluminium to neutrons increases detection potential compared to the stainless steel used so far.
ILL's technology provides a cost-effective solution for equipping medium- and large-sized neutron diffraction instruments whilst limiting technical risk.
One Multitube was provided to the LLB in Saclay in 2005.

2D position sensitive detectors

These detectors are used with individual readouts instead of the more generally used delay line readouts, as this provides better performance in terms of count rate, stability, and spatial resolution.
The standard 2D detector used at the ILL has a sensitive area of 26 cm x 26 cm, and a position resolution of 2 mm, but other configurations can be developped.
A bidim26 detector was supplied to the LLB in 2005.
The MILAND detector was first brought into operation in 2008 on the D16 instrument; it is the most powerful detector of its type in terms of spatial resolution (1 mm) and count rate capability (1 MHz @ 10% dead time correction). The unusual gas pressure employed (15 bars) allows a significant reduction in parallax effect, and therefore reduces the distance from sample to detector. By changing the polarity of the drift electrode the detector can be used in one of two modes: by prioritising either efficiency or spatial resolution. A significant cost reduction was obtained in 2008 when the new ASIC circuits became available.