Publication Details

Preston, R., Jakubek, J., Prokopovich, D. Uher, J. (2012). Proton beam characterisation of a prototype thin-tile plastic scintillator detector with SiPM readout for use in fast-neutron tracker. Journal of Instrumentation, 7 (2), 1-14.


We present details of the construction and characterisation of a prototype thin-tile plastic scintillation detector for use in a multi-layer Fast Neutron Tracker. Scintillation light is read out using solid-state silicon photomultiplier detectors (SiPMs). The Tracker consists of alternating scintillator and Timepix detector layers. The scintillator tile provides a hydrogen-rich target, in which impinging fast neutrons produce recoil protons. The energies lost by protons in the plastic scintillator are measured and recoil protons exiting the scintillator are tracked in the Timepix detector. The combination of signals from the scintillator and Timepix provides information to reconstruct the energy or direction of the impinging neutron, using calculations based on the kinematics of the elastic neutron scattering. Three prototype scintillation detectors were constructed, using either a pair of 3 × 3 mm sensitive area SPMMicro3035 SiPMs from SensL or a pair of MAPD-3n SiPMs from Zecotek. The detector performances were characterised using a mono-energetic proton beam. An absolute energy calibration was measured at 3, 4 and 5 MeV proton energies with good linearity. The best measured energy resolution was 29.8% at 5 MeV. Spatial uniformity was assessed by measuring the response across the detector face. Finally, the tile detector's ability to provide a trigger for Timepix acquisition in the stack configuration was demonstrated for single and double neutron recoil events using a DT neutron source. The SiPM-based design was found to be well-suited for the application of the multi-layer fast neutron tracker.

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