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      Neutron reflectometry on highly absorbing films and its application to 10B4C-based neutron detectors

      Proceedings. Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences / The Royal Society

      The Royal Society

      neutron detection, neutron-induced fluorescence, neutron reflectometry, boron-10

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          Abstract

          Neutron reflectometry is a powerful tool used for studies of surfaces and interfaces. The absorption in the typical studied materials is neglected and this technique is limited only to the reflectivity measurement. For strongly absorbing nuclei, the absorption can be directly measured by using the neutron-induced fluorescence technique which exploits the prompt particle emission of absorbing isotopes. This technique is emerging from soft matter and biology where highly absorbing nuclei, in very small quantities, are used as a label for buried layers. Nowadays, the importance of absorbing layers is rapidly increasing, partially because of their application in neutron detection; a field that has become more active also due to the 3 He-shortage. We extend the neutron-induced fluorescence technique to the study of layers of highly absorbing materials, in particular 10B4C. The theory of neutron reflectometry is a commonly studied topic; however, when a strong absorption is present the subtle relationship between the reflection and the absorption of neutrons is not widely known. The theory for a general stack of absorbing layers has been developed and compared to measurements. We also report on the requirements that a 10B4C layer must fulfil in order to be employed as a converter in neutron detection.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                10.1098/rspa.2015.0711
                4786047
                26997902

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                Physics

                neutron detection, neutron-induced fluorescence, neutron reflectometry, boron-10

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