Lithium Innovations Neutron Detector Array (LINDA)

Alvin Compaan, Ford Cauffiel, Ralph Becker, Bob Fisher, Victor Plotnikov, Shan Ambalanath, Anthony Matthews, Song Cheng
Lithium Innovations Co., LLC, Ohio, United States

Keywords: Neutron, Fissionable, Radiation, Port, Drone

We have developed a radically new, low-cost, solid-state neutron detector based on thin films of CdTe activated with foils of isotopically enriched Li-6. The technology leverages recent advances in thin-film solar-module manufacturing and electrochromic windows. Our detector can replace expensive and rare He-3, currently the dominant material in neutron detection equipment. He-3 is the byproduct of tritium production in nuclear weapons manufacturing which has radically decreased since the end of the Cold War, while the challenges of tracking fissionable nuclear material have greatly increased. Advantages of our detector include: low cost; rugged, all-solid-state design; a light-weight and thin detector element, low power consumption; scalable, monolithic fabrication technology; and no gamma sensitivity. It is ideally suited for UAV/drone surveillance. Our detector contains no sealed gas volume sensitive to pressure changes such as He-3 or BF3, and does not require the maintenance of critical tensioning on delicate electrode wires. It is compact, has low energy draw and is well-suited for portable use in hostile situations (e.g., portable backpacks, handheld survey meters, vehicle-mounted search systems); but it is also scalable to large sizes for possible use in radiation portal monitors at seaports, airports and border crossings.