Theory

Neutron Technology

Our competitive advantage is based on proprietary accelerator, detector and software technology.

We want to help you understand what makes us unique. Thus, here is a brief introduction to the theory.

Main principle

  1. Investigated material is irradiated with neutrons.
  2. Neutron interacts with the investigated sample inducing gamma rays and/or changes in neutron energy distribution.
  3. By measuring the changes in neutron energy distribution and/or gamma spectrum, we are able to determine the elemental composition or image the object.

In addition, neutrons can also be used to produce rare isotopes, deliver radiation to tumors with boron, and stress test electronics. However, currently we focus on elemental analysis and imaging.

Neutron interaction with matter. A neutron can excite an atom, which will yield prompt and delayed gamma radiation.

Overall, neutron based elemental analyses and imaging technologies have three main benefits:

Versatile

Neutron technologies are especially versatile, as neutrons can pass through most material. For example, bulk analysis from a metal container is possible.

There are many different neutron technologies for both elemental analysis and image capturing.

Bulk analysis

Typical elemental analyses (such as XRF, ICP-MS, AAS) often either only measure the surface or require sample decomposition. Therefore, typical elemental analyses often have an unrepresentative sample.

With neutron technologies, large sample sizes (up to 1000 liters) can be measured non-intrusively to get a representative signal faster than any other technology can.

Different

Neutrons interact with matter in a fundamentally different way than x-rays, microwaves or electrons.

X-rays have stronger interactions with heavier elements, as they interact mainly with electron shell. On comparison, neutrons interact with nucleus, and therefore neutrons have relatively stronger interactions with light elements.

For more information on the three steps of neutron based analyses, fill the form and we will send you a 7-page introductory document explaining the theory behind neutron based elemental analyses and radiography.

The document explains in greater detail the possibilities and technical limitations of these analyses, including sensitivity to all elements.

Receive the introductory document