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Radiation hardness of a polycrystalline chemical-vapor-deposited diamond detector irradiated with 14 MeV neutrons

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11 Author(s)
Angelone, M. ; Associazione EURATOM-ENEA sulla Fusione, Centro Ricerche Frascati, via E. Fermi 45, I-00044 Frascati, Roma, Italy ; Pillon, M. ; Balducci, A. ; Marinelli, M.
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Chemical-vapor-deposited (CVD) diamond films are considered as neutron detectors for nuclear fusion devices because of their radiation hardness. Data about the radiation hardness of polycrystalline CVD diamond films exposed to 14 MeV neutron are missing in literature so the actual capability of CVD diamond detectors to withstand fusion device conditions must be truly demonstrated. In this work a polycrystalline CVD diamond detector, 101 μm thick, was irradiated for the first time with 14 MeV neutrons produced by the Fusion Neutron Source of the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute with the goal to study its radiation hardness. The 14 MeV neutron fluence was 8×1014 n/cm2. The film performances were studied before and after the 14 MeV neutron irradiation by using 5.5 MeV α from 241Am source, both in the pumped and the “as-grown” state. A comparison with previous measurements performed in more soft neutron spectra (mean neutron energy of 1–2 MeV) is reported pointing out the more damaging effects of the 14 MeV neutrons. It was found that annealing at 500 °C and redeposition of the gold contact followed by a proper pumping procedure will restore more than 70% the initial working conditions of the irradiated detector. An analysis of the neutron field expected in the neutron camera of the International Thermonuclear Reactor fusion tokamak was also performed, showing the capability of CVD diamond detector to withstand the 14 MeV neutron fluence expected in about one year of operation.

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Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:77 ,  Issue: 2 )