24 October 2012 Metal-semiconductor-metal neutron detectors based on hexagonal boron nitride epitaxial layers
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Hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) possesses extraordinary potential for solid-state neutron detector applications. This stems from the fact that the boron-10 (10B) isotope has a capture cross-section of 3840 barns for thermal neutrons that is orders of magnitude larger than other isotopes. Epitaxial layers of hBN have been synthesized by metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). Experimental measurements indicated that the thermal neutron absorption coefficient and length of natural hBN epilayers are about 0.0036 μm-1 and 277 μm, respectively. To partially address the key requirement of long carrier lifetime and diffusion length for a solid-state neutron detector, micro-strip metal–semiconductor–metal detectors were fabricated and tested. A good current response was generated in these detectors using continuous irradiation with a thermal neutron beam, corresponding to an effective conversion efficiency approaching ~80% for absorbed neutrons.
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S. Majety, S. Majety, J. Li, J. Li, X. K. Cao, X. K. Cao, R. Dahal, R. Dahal, J. Y. Lin, J. Y. Lin, H. X. Jiang, H. X. Jiang, "Metal-semiconductor-metal neutron detectors based on hexagonal boron nitride epitaxial layers", Proc. SPIE 8507, Hard X-Ray, Gamma-Ray, and Neutron Detector Physics XIV, 85070R (24 October 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.940748; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.940748

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