Table of Contents
Journal of Composites
Volume 2013, Article ID 539060, 8 pages
Research Article

Thin Film Polymer Composite Scintillators for Thermal Neutron Detection

1Department of Chemistry, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
2Department of Nuclear Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
3Engineering Science and Mechanics, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
4Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA

Received 4 February 2013; Accepted 15 April 2013

Academic Editor: Hui Shen Shen

Copyright © 2013 Andrew N. Mabe et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Thin film polystyrene composite scintillators containing and organic fluors have been fabricated and tested as thermal neutron detectors. Varying fluorescence emission intensities for different compositions are interpreted in terms of the Beer-Lambert law and indicate that the sensitivity of fluorescent sensors can be improved by incorporating transparent particles with refractive index different than that of the polymer matrix. Compositions and thicknesses were varied to optimize the fluorescence and thermal neutron response and to reduce gamma-ray sensitivity. Neutron detection efficiency and neutron/gamma-ray discrimination are reported herein as functions of composition and thickness. Gamma-ray sensitivity is affected largely by changing thickness and unaffected by the amount of in the film. The best neutron/gamma-ray discrimination characteristics are obtained for film thicknesses in the range 25–150 μm.