Stabilization of Particle Discrimination Efficiencies for Neutron Spectrum Unfolding with Organic Scintillators

Chris C. Lawrence, J. K. Polack, Michael Febbraro, J. J. Kolata, Marek Flaska, S. A. Pozzi, F. D. Becchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The literature discussing pulse-shape discrimination (PSD) in organic scintillators dates back several decades. However, little has been written about PSD techniques that are optimized for neutron spectrum unfolding. Variation in n-γ misclassification rates and in γ/n ratio of incident fields can distort the neutron pulse-height response of scintillators and these distortions can in turn cause large errors in unfolded spectra. New applications in arms-control verification call for detection of lower-energy neutrons, for which PSD is particularly problematic. In this article, we propose techniques for removing distortions on pulse-height response that result from the merging of PSD distributions in the low-pulse-height region. These techniques take advantage of the repeatable shapes of PSD distributions that are governed by the counting statistics of scintillation-photon populations. We validate the proposed techniques using accelerator-based time-of-flight measurements and then demonstrate them by unfolding the Watt spectrum from measurement with a 252Cf neutron source.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7797183
Pages (from-to)772-780
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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