The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the developments in nuclear track methodology as published in the proceedings of the last ten meetings of the International Conference on Nuclear Tracks in Solids (ICNTS) from the Marburg (Germany) conference in 1990 to the Bologna (Italy) conference of 2008. Nuclear Tracks Methodology (NTM) examines the effects of the interaction between charged particles and solid materials and presents several desirable characteristics: the detectors can easily be cut into a size appropriate for any application and can be used in locations for which other radiation detectors are not suitable; the etching and reading instrumentation is relatively simple; there is a quasi-insensibility to gamma radiation for reasonable dose exposures (typically <1 kGy); after chemical etching the information recorded on the detector material is essentially permanent; and, finally, the system involves relatively low costs. These characteristics have contributed to the importance of NTM for radiation detection in an immense number of applications across a wide range of scientific and technological fields. This paper reviews the new ideas, topics, materials and applications related to NTM that have been presented over the past ten ICNTS meetings from 1990 to 2008, and analyzes the evolution of various topics. One could argue that the conferences themselves have been an important source of new ideas and applications for the nuclear track research community. Two important observations arise from this review. The first is that the contributions of the past ten international conferences can be conveniently classified into 12 categories. The second is that the number of papers published varied widely from conference to conference. Several factors contributed: the variation in the number of conference participants, the interests of local participants (who account for a disproportionate number of conference participants), the location of the conference, and the appearance of new international conferences devoted to topics similar to those covered by the ICNTS. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- International Conference on Nuclear Tracks in Solids
- Nuclear track