Boron-rich benzene and pyrene derivatives for the detection of thermal neutrons

Henok A. Yemam, Adam Mahl, Unsal Koldemir, Tyler Remedes, Sean Parkin, Uwe Greife, Alan Sellinger

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14 Scopus citations


A synthetic methodology is developed to generate boron rich aromatic small molecules based on benzene and pyrene moieties for the detection of thermal neutrons. The prepared aromatic compounds have a relatively high boron content up to 7.4â ‰wt%, which is important for application in neutron detection as 10 B (20% of natural abundance boron) has a large neutron induced reaction cross-section. This is demonstrated by preparing blends of the synthesized molecules with fluorescent dopants in poly(vinyltoluene) matrices resulting in comparable scintillation light output and neutron capture as state-of-the art commercial scintillators, but with the advantage of much lower cost. The boron-rich benzene and pyrene derivatives are prepared by Suzuki conditions using both microwave and traditional heating, affording yields of 40-93%. This new procedure is simple and straightforward, and has the potential to be scaled up.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13401
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - Sep 3 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported by the US Department of Homeland Security-Domestic Nuclear Office (DHS-14-DN-077-ARI-NC7). We thank Dr. Peter Menge and Dr. Mark Mayhugh at Saint Gobain Crystals for their useful discussion and continued support. We extend our appreciation to Dr. Yuan Yang for her NMR advice and support.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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