Projection imaging with ultracold neutrons

K. Kuk, C. Cude-Woods, C. R. Chavez, J. H. Choi, J. Estrada, M. Hoffbauer, S. E. Holland, M. Makela, C. L. Morris, E. Ramberg, E. R. Adamek, T. Bailey, M. Blatnik, L. J. Broussard, M. A.P. Brown, N. B. Callahan, S. M. Clayton, S. Currie, B. W. Filippone, E. M. FriesP. Geltenbort, F. Gonzalez, M. T. Hassan, L. Hayen, K. P. Hickerson, A. T. Holley, T. M. Ito, C. Y. Liu, P. Merkel, R. Musedinovic, C. O'Shaughnessy, R. W. Pattie, B. Plaster, D. J. Salvat, A. Saunders, E. I. Sharapov, X. Sun, Z. Tang, W. Wei, J. W. Wexler, A. R. Young, Zhehui Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Ultracold neutron (UCN) projection imaging is demonstrated using a boron-coated back-illuminated CCD camera and the Los Alamos UCN source. Each neutron is recorded through the capture reactions with10B. By direct detection at least one of the byproducts α, 7Li and γ (electron recoils) derived from the neutron capture and reduction of thermal noise of the scientific CCD camera, a signal-to-noise improvement on the order of 104 over the indirect detection has been achieved. Sub-pixel position resolution of a few microns is confirmed for individual UCN events. Projection imaging of test objects shows a spatial resolution less than 100μm by an integrated UCN flux one the order of 106 cm−2. The bCCD can be used to build UCN detectors with an area on the order of 1 m2. The combination of micrometer scale spatial resolution, low readout noise of a few electrons, and large area makes bCCD suitable for quantum science of UCN.

Original languageEnglish
Article number165306
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)


  • B nanometer thin film
  • Direct detection
  • Low background
  • Neutron detection efficiency
  • Projection imaging
  • Ultracold neutrons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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