Evaluation of Pulse Shape Discrimination Characteristics in 10Boron-Loaded Plastic Scintillators

Mareena Robinson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Neutrons provide very specific signatures for the presence of fissile material. Unfortunately, these signatures are often at low intensity and compete with large gamma backgrounds. To separate these signatures from the background, pulse shape discrimination (PSD) is used. Liquid scintillator is the most commonly used PSD medium because of its reliability and lack of realistic alternatives at large sizes. PSD-capable plastic scintillators offer an attractive alternative, potentially achieving the size and performance of liquids while avoiding issues such as toxicity, flammability, and spillage that are inherent in the use of liquid PSD scintillators. This work focuses on the optimization of the plastic composition for PSD applications, specifically looking at the use of Boron-loaded plastic scintillators with the ability to distinguish between gammas, thermal and fast neutrons.

Abstract Author(s): Mareena Robinson, Natalia Zaitseva, Adam Bernstein