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Technology Factsheet

Boron-structured Nano-proportional Counters

Category: Robotics > Characterization and Inspection > Sensor
Reference # : Model No :

The use of nanotechnology to improve the design of gas-filled proportional counters (PC). The new nano-detector design will require a much lower operating voltage, a smaller power supply, enhanced portability, increased sensitivity to radiation, and improved detection efficiency.

Site:Savannah River
Industry:Nuclear
Size:Tiny (<1kg/2lb, <10cm/4in useable length)
TRL:Development (4-6)
TRL2:Development (4-6)
Tether: *
Waterproof: *
Payload: *
Reach: *
Manipulator: *

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SRNL has investigated an alternative to conventionally constructed gas-filled PCs using a boron-coated nanostructured array affixed on an insulating substrate to replace the traditional PC wire anode. Use of nanostructures can reduce the required operating voltage by more than 100 times compared to traditional PCs due to the inherently high electrical fields associated with nanoscale anodes. Furthermore, the new model will eliminate the need for scarce resources, making it a more economically feasible design for the future; coating the arrays with layers of boron-10 allows for the detection of neutrons without the use of Helium-3, an isotope in considerably dwindling supply.

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