• A M Shaikh

      Articles written in Pramana – Journal of Physics

    • Development of a microstrip-based neutron detector

      S S Desai A M Shaikh V Radhakrishna K Rajanna

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      A gas-filled microstrip detector for thermal neutrons has been built and successfully tested in our laboratory. The detector has an active area of 20 mm × 15 mm and consists of alternate anodes and cathodes of widths 12 μm and 300 μm respectively. The anode to cathode gap is 150 μm and the pitch is 612 μm. A high resistance, meandering type horizontal strip connects the anodes at one end and aids in position sensing by charge division method. The detector is tested with gas mixtures3He+Kr (1: 2) and3He+CF4 (2:1) at pressure of 3 atmospheres and using a Pu-Be neutron source. The pulse height spectrum shows energy resolution of ∼8% (FWHM) for the 764 keV peak at anode voltage of 525 V for3He+Kr and ∼15% at anode voltage of 800 V for3He+CF4. Gas gains up to 6.3 × 103 and 3.6 × 103 are obtained respectively with these gas mixtures. The overall efficiency of the detector along the sensitive length is tested by exposing the active area to neutrons and recording the position spectrum. The detector shows fairly uniform efficiency (∼45%) over the active length.

    • Development of neutron detectors and neutron radiography at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre

      A M Shaikh

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      Design and development of neutron detectors and R&D work in neutron radiography (NR) for non-destructive evaluation are important parts of the neutron beam and allied research programme of Solid State Physics Division (SSPD) of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). The detectors fabricated in the division not only meet the in-house requirement of neutron spectrometers but also the need of other divisions in BARC, Department of Atomic Energy units and some universities and research institutes in India and abroad for a variety of applications. The NR facility set up by SSPD at Apsara reactor has been used for a variety of applications in nuclear, aerospace, defense and metallurgical industries. The work done in the development of neutron detectors and neutron radiography is reported in this article.

    • Effect of adding Ar gas on the pulse height distribution of BF3-filled neutron detectors

      M Padalakshmi A M Shaikh

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      Boron trifluoride (BF3) proportional counters are used as detectors for thermal neutrons. They are characterized by high neutron sensitivity and good gamma discriminating properties. Most practical BF3 counters are filled with pure boron trifluoride gas enriched up to 96% 10B. But BF3 is not an ideal proportional counter gas. Worsening of plateau characteristics is observed with increasing radius due to impurities in gas. To overcome this problem, counters are filled with BF3 with an admixture of a more suitable gas such as argon. The dilution of BF3 with argon causes a decrease in detection efficiency, but the pulse height spectrum shows sharper peaks and more stable plateau characteristics than counters filled with pure BF3. The present investigations are under-taken to study the pulse height distribution and other important factors in BF3+Ar filled signal counters for neutron beam applications. Tests are performed with detectors with cylindrical geometry filled with BF3 gas enriched in 10B to 90%, and high purity Ar in different proportions. By analysing pulse height spectra, a value of $6.1 \pm 0.2$ has been obtained for the branching ratio of the 10B($n,\alpha$) reaction.

    • Performance studies on high pressure 1-D position sensitive neutron detectors

      S S Desai A M Shaikh

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      The powder diffractometer and Hi-Q diffractometer at Dhruva reactor make use of five identical 1-D position sensitive detectors (PSDs) to scan scattering angles in the range 3° to 140°. In order to improve the overall throughput of these spectrometers, it is planned to install a bank of 15 high-efficiency and high-resolution PSDs arranged in three layers with five PSDs in each layer. With each high pressure PSD (3He 10 bar + Kr 2 bar) showing the efficiency gain of 1.8 at 1.2 Å, detector bank is expected to show overall gain of 5.5 times the present detection efficiency and reduction in data collection time by equivalent factor. The 1-D PSDs are developed in batches of five, and are characterized so that all PSDs operate at uniform parameters such as position resolution, uniformity of efficiency and linearity of response. Position spectrum indicates the differential position resolution to be $\sim 1$ mm and integral position resolution to be 3–4 mm. Broadening of position spectrum at the extreme end of sensitive length of PSD is analysed using fine shift of the beam. Dependence of position resolution and dynamic range of output pulse on the input impedance of pre-amplifier is also presented.

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