CR-39 detector based thermal neutron flux measurements, in the photo neutron project

A. Mameli, F. Greco, A. Fidanzio, V. Fusco, S. Cilla, G. D'Onofrio, L. Grimaldi, B. G. Augelli, G. Giannini, R. Bevilacqua, P. Totaro, L. Tommasino, L. Azario, A. Piermattei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PhoNeS (photo neutron source) is a project aimed at the production and moderation of neutrons by exploiting high energy linear accelerators, currently used in radiotherapy. A feasibility study has been carried out with the scope in mind to use the high energy photon beams from these accelerators for the production of neutrons suitable for boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT). Within these investigations, it was necessary to carry out preliminary measurements of the thermal neutron component of neutron spectra, produced by the photo-conversion of X-ray radiotherapy beams supplied by three LinAcs: 15 MV, 18 MV and 23 MV. To this end, a simple passive thermal neutron detector has been used which consists of a CR-39 track detector facing a new type of boron-loaded radiator. Once calibrated, this passive detector has been used for the measurement of both the thermal neutron component and the cadmium ratio of different neutron spectra. In addition, bubble detectors with a response highly sensitive to thermal neutrons have also been used. Both thermal neutron detectors are simple to use, very compact and totally insensitive to low-ionizing radiation such as electrons and X-rays. The resultant thermal neutron flux was above 106 n/cm2s and the cadmium ratio was no greater than 15 for the first attempt of photo-conversion of X-ray radiotherapy beams.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3656-3660
Number of pages5
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


  • BNCT
  • CR-39
  • Neutron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Instrumentation
  • Surfaces and Interfaces


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