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X-ray tests of a microchannel plate detector and amorphous silicon pixel array readout for neutron radiography

 

High-performance large area imaging detectors for fast neutrons in the 5-14MeV energy range do not exist at present. The aim of this project is to combine microchannel plates or MCPs (or similar electron multiplication structures) traditionally used in image intensifiers and X-ray detectors with amorphous silicon (a-Si) pixel arrays to produce a composite converter and intensifier position sensitive imaging system. This detector will provide an order of magnitude improvement in image resolution when compared with current millimetre resolution limits obtained using phosphor or scintillator-based hydrogen rich converters. In this study we present the results of the initial experimental evaluation of the prototype system. This study was carried out using a medical X-ray source for the proof of concept tests, the next phase will involve neutron imaging tests. The hybrid detector described in this study is a unique development and paves the way for large area position sensitive detectors consisting of MCP or microsphere plate detectors and a-Si or polysilicon pixel arrays. Applications include neutron and X-ray imaging for terrestrial applications. The technology could be extended to space instrumentation for X-ray astronomy.

 
citation

Ambrosi, R. M.; Street, R.; Feller, B.; Fraser, G. W.; Watterson, J. I. W.; Lanza, R. C.; Dowson, J.; Ross, D.; Martindale, A.; Abbey, A. F.; Vernon, D. Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research A. 2007 March 11; 572 (2): 844-852.