Optimizing diode thickness for thin-film solid state thermal neutron detectors

John W. Murphy*, George R. Kunnen, Israel Mejia, Manuel A. Quevedo-Lopez, David Allee, Bruce Gnade

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


In this work, we investigate the optimal thickness of a semiconductor diode for thin-film solid state thermal neutron detectors. We evaluate several diode materials, Si, CdTe, GaAs, C (diamond), and ZnO, and two neutron converter materials, 10B and 6LiF. Investigating a coplanar diode/converter geometry, we determine the minimum semiconductor thickness needed to achieve maximum neutron detection efficiency. By keeping the semiconductor thickness to a minimum, gamma rejection is kept as high as possible. In this way, we optimize detector performance for different thin-film semiconductor materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number143506
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number14
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to acknowledge the support of the United States Department of Homeland Security and the National Science Foundation, Grant No. ECCS-11139986.


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