Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Combined Radiation Detector for Neutron Detection and Discrimination

Technology #2250

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Douglas S. McGregor
Managed By
Richard Greeley
Senior Licensing Specialist, Engineering 734-936-2093


The material requirements for a room temperature-operated, high resolution semiconductor gamma ray spectrometer include large free charge carrier mobilities or alternatively, high achievable free charge carrier velocities, long mean free drift times, a relatively large energy band gap, high representative values of atomic number, and availability in large volumes. Presently, no semiconductor has all of the listed ideal material properties desired for the “perfect” room temperature-operated, semiconductor radiation spectrometer, although many have a considerable fraction, of the required properties. Some wide band gap compound semiconductors that offer promise as room temperature-operated, gamma ray spectrometers include HgI2, CdTe, and CdZnTe. Unfortunately, a gamma ray field accompanies most neutron measurements. Since the described devices are gamma ray detectors, confusion can arise regarding the difference between neutron-induced gamma rays and background gamma rays. As such, a method to confidently discriminate between neutron-induced gamma ray counts and background gamma ray counts.


Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a method and system for measuring neutron emissions and ionizing radiation, solid state detector, and imaging system and array of such detectors for use therein. In particular, these are constructed using Cd- and/or Hg-containing semiconductors or B-based, Li-based or Gd-based semiconductors. The resulting systems and detectors used therein may be not only compact and portable, but also capable of operating at room temperature. The detectors may also be operable as gamma ray spectrometers.

Applications and Advantages


  • Measurement of neutron emission and ionizing radiation


  • Portable and robust
  • Operable at room temperature