Low energy light yield of fast plastic scintillators
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.nima.2018.10.122
Compact neutron imagers using double-scatter kinematic reconstruction are being designed for localization and characterization of special nuclear material. These neutron imaging systems rely on scintillators with a rapid prompt temporal response as the detection medium. As n–p elastic scattering is the primary mechanism for light generation by fast neutron interactions in organic scintillators, proton light yield data are needed for accurate assessment of scintillator performance. The proton light yield of a series of commercial fast plastic organic scintillators – EJ-200, EJ-204, and EJ-208 – was measured via a double time-of-flight technique at the 88-Inch Cyclotron at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Using a tunable deuteron breakup neutron source, target scintillators housed in a dual photomultiplier tube configuration, and an array of pulse-shape-discriminating observation scintillators, the fast plastic scintillator light yield was measured over a broad and continuous energy range down to proton recoil energies of approximately 50 keV. This work provides key input to event reconstruction algorithms required for utilization of these materials in emerging neutron imaging modalities.