Date of Award

12-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Nuclear Engineering

Major Professor

Laurence F. Miller

Committee Members

Jason P. Hayward, Ronald E. Pevey

Abstract

There exists a significant need to develop a new neutron detection system which would reduce the dependency on the current He-3 based detectors for Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) applications. One of the technologies being developed is the use of Li-6 (thermal cross section of 940 barns) in scintillating polymeric thin films. The purpose of this research is to provide a framework for the characterization of thin polymeric films in terms of meeting the detection requirements set forth by the governing bodies, most notability a detector count rate of 2.5 cps/ng with and only misclassifying a neutron as a gamma once in a million. The performance of some of the best preforming fabricated films is simulated with a Monte Carlo transport code (MCNPX) as radiation portal monitors. It is determined that thin polymeric films would have a high enough interaction rate to satisfy the DHS-DNDO requirements while still maintaining the necessary gamma discrimination.

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