Boron thin films were produced using femtosecond pulsed laser deposition aiming at the development of a neutron detector. As neutrons have no charge, in order to detect this particle converter materials are applied, promoting nuclear reactions that result in the emission of charged particles, allowing the neutrons presence to be indirectly inferred. Among the possible conversion materials, 10B has a considerable cross section for thermal neutrons and accessible cost. Furthermore, the nuclear reaction produces easily detectable alpha particles, making it a rational option to develop a low cost and portable neutron detector. The boron ablation threshold fluence has been measured by the Diagonal Scan (Dscan) technique that resulted in the minimum laser energy value of 17.7 (6) μJ and fluence of 5.63(19) J/cm2. Boron deposition was performed varying the pulse energy and deposition duration. The growth rate, morphological and physical aspects of the boron pulsed laser deposition were characterized by a Scanning Electron Microscope and an optical profilometer. The films surfaces have a flaky aspect with eventual droplets which had decayed overtime to a more smooth surface. The studied parameters allowed producing a boron coating with the optimal thickness in order to minimize self-absorption effect in the film, thus increasing efficiency.
Priscila Costa, Marcus Paulo Raele, Ricardo Elgul Samad, Noé Gabriel Pinheiro Machado, Nilson Dias Vieira, and Frederico Antônio Genezini, "Femtosecond pulsed laser deposition of a boron thin film aiming at the development of a low-cost neutron detector," Proc. SPIE 10525, High-Power Laser Materials Processing: Applications, Diagnostics, and Systems VII, 105250J (Presented at SPIE LASE: February 01, 2018; Published: 15 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2285896.
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