Cylindrical Detector and Preamplifier Design for Detecting Neutrons
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Tissue equivalent proportional counters are frequently used to measure dose and dose equivalent in mixed radiation fields that include neutrons; however, detectors simulating sites 1?m in diameter underestimate the quality factor, Q, for low energy neutrons because the recoil protons do not cross the detectors. Proportional counters simulating different site-sizes can be used to get a better neutron dose equivalent measurement since the range and stopping power of protons generated by neutrons in the tissue-equivalent walls depend on the energy of the primary neutrons. The differences in the spectra measured by different size detectors will provide additional information on the incident neutron energy. Monte Carlo N-particle extended (MCNPX) code was used to simulate neutron transportation in proportional counters of different simulated tissue diameter. These Monte Carlo results were tested using two solid walled tissue equivalent proportional counters, 2mm and 10mm in diameter, simulating tissue volumes 0.1?m and 0.5?m in diameter, housed in a single vacuum chamber. Both detectors are built with 3mm thick tissue equivalent plastic (A-150) walls and propane gas inside for dose measurement. Using these two detectors, the spectra were compared to determine the underestimation of y for large detector, and thereby obtain more information of the incident neutron particles. Based on the MCNPX simulation and experimental results, we can see that the smaller detector produces a larger average lineal energy than the larger detector, which means the larger detector (0.5?m diameter tissue equivalent size) underestimates the Q value for the low energy neutron, therefore underestimates the effective dose. These results confirm the results of the typical analysis of lineal energy as a function of site size.