Evolution in boron-based GEM detectors for diffraction measurements: From planar to 3D converters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The so-called '3He-crisis' has motivated the neutron detector community to undertake an intense R&D programme in order to develop technologies alternative to standard 3He tubes and suitable for neutron detection systems in future spallation sources such as the European spallation source (ESS). Boron-based GEM (gas electron multiplier) detectors are a promising '3He-free' technology for thermal neutron detection in neutron scattering experiments. In this paper the evolution of boron-based GEM detectors from planar to 3D converters with an application in diffraction measurements is presented. The use of 3D converters coupled with GEMs allows for an optimization of the detector performances. Three different detectors were used for diffraction measurements on the INES instrument at the ISIS spallation source. The performances of the GEM-detectors are compared with those of conventional 3He tubes installed on the INES instrument. The conceptual detector with the 3D converter used in this paper reached a count rate per unit area of about 25% relative to the currently installed 3He tube. Its timing resolution is similar and the signal-to-background ratio (S/B) is 2 times lower.


  • Giorgia Albani
  • Enrico Perelli Cippo
  • Gabriele Croci
  • Andrea Muraro
  • Erik Schooneveld
  • Antonella Scherillo
  • Richard Hall-Wilton
  • Kalliopi Kanaki
  • Carina Höglund
  • Lars Hultman
  • Jens Birch
  • Gerardo Claps
  • Fabrizio Murtas
  • Marica Rebai
  • Marco Tardocchi
  • Giuseppe Gorini
External organisations
  • Mid Sweden University
  • Linköping University
  • University of Milano-Bicocca
  • Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare
  • CNR Institute of Plasma Physics "Piero Caldirola" (IFP-CNR)
  • Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
  • INFN Frascati National Laboratory
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Accelerator Physics and Instrumentation


  • diffraction detector, GEM technology, helium3-free detector, neutron detector
Original languageEnglish
Article number115902
JournalMeasurement Science & Technology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Oct 7
Publication categoryResearch