Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Combined Scintillator-based Neutron and Gamma-ray Dosimeter

Technology #6379

Radiation dosimeters are used to measure exposure to ionizing radiation (such as gamma rays and neutron). These instruments are used to determine radiation exposure in research and medical facilities, security checks (e.g. in the airport), food and other industries where radiation is used as a sterilization tool. The global market for dosimeters was worth ~$6000 million in 2012 with an expected CAGR of 15% by 2019. Conventional non‐personnel neutron dosimeters are based on thermal‐neutron detection in moderated gaseous detection media. These dosimeters are bulky, only respond to neutrons, and provide only average, loosely energy‐dependent dose information based on the associated neutron moderating material.

Using novel technologies developed at the University of Michigan, a dosimeter has been developed based on organic scintillators that can simultaneously detect neutrons and gamma rays.

Combined Scintillator-based Neutron and Gamma-ray Dosimeter

The voltage pulse measured from these detectors can be directly related to the energy deposited without the need of bulky moderating material. This increased spectroscopic fidelity will result in a more accurate determination of the deposited dose. The organic composition of the scintillation material is a reasonable approximation for tissue, which alleviates the need for approximate flux‐to‐dose conversion factors - the energy deposited in the detector can be used to directly calculate the absorbed dose.

Applications

Handheld dosimeter for medical and industrial applications, including:

  • Medical facilities providing radiation cancer treatment
  • Facilities where radioactive material is stored and handled
  • Universities and research facilities with radioactive materials

Advantages

  • Ability to provide combined gamma and neutron readings
  • Does not require neutron moderation making it more compact and useful for handheld applications than existing options
  • Improved energy-dependent dose calculation