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Neutron images recorded with high-resolution bubble detectors

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8 Author(s)
Lerche, R.A. ; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Box 808, Livermore, California 94551 ; Izumi, N. ; Fisher, R.K. ; Disdier, L.
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Neutron images have been successfully recorded with “gel-type bubble detectors.” 14 MeV fusion neutrons emitted from laser-irradiated inertial confinement fusion targets formed coded images in proof-of-principle experiments conducted at the OMEGA laser facility. In the detector, small (∼50 μm diameter) bubbles form when high-energy neutrons collide with the detector material. Each collision produces only one bubble whose position can be determined with a precision of better than 25 μm. Additionally, bubble detectors are insensitive to x-ray and gamma-ray background. For these ride-along experiments, bubble detectors were simply inserted between the imaging aperture and the scintillation detector of the primary experiment. Recorded images for high-yield (6×1013) targets show the bubble detector’s potential for high resolution. More complex “liquid” bubble detectors are expected to have efficiencies of ∼1% (versus 0.001% for gel-type) while maintaining the desirable characteristics of the gel-type units. This article discusses the bubble detector, the characteristics that make them an attractive recording device for neutron imaging, and initial bubble detector images. Simulation of the image statistics and the potential impact of bubble detectors on image system design are also discussed. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.

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Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:74 ,  Issue: 3 )