Monte Carlo simulations of a microstructured silicon detector with high efficiency for thermal neutrons

C. Guardiola, C. Fleta, K. Amgarou, M. Lozano

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2 Citations (Scopus)


In this work we present a design optimization of a high efficiency neutron detector with MCNPX simulations. The detector is based on a silicon structure incorporating a boron-based converter to detect thermal neutrons by means of the 10B(n,α)7Li nuclear reaction. In order to improve the efficiency of planar detectors, limited to 5%, we have designed a perforated detector based on microstructures etched inside the silicon bulk, which would considerably increase this value. Each one of these microstructures is a micro-channel filled with the converter that provides a high surface-volume contact ratio between the converter and the sensitive silicon bulk. The main parameters optimized with the simulations are micro-channel width and depth, width of the silicon wall between micro-channels, and converter density, all comprised within technologically viable ranges. The results show that the detector could achieve up to 50% thermal neutron efficiency for a realistic prototype that can be produced with MEMS fabrication techniques. © 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd and Sissa Medialab srl.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberT06003
JournalJournal of Instrumentation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012


  • Detector modeling and simulations I (interaction of radiation with matter, interaction of photons with matter, interaction of hadrons with matter, etc)
  • Neutron detectors (cold, thermal, fast neutrons)
  • Solid state detectors


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