Organic Scintillator Characterization & Properties

Research Focus Areas: 7

Ph.D. Students: M.A. Norsworthy (Graduated)

Collaborators: F.D. Becchetti (Univ. of Michigan)

DD Generator Experiment

In organic scintillators, the amount of scintillation light produced by neutron interactions is a nonlinear function of the energy deposited. The light output function affects every neutron event in both Monte Carlo simulations and the interpretation of experimental data. More accurate light output functions would yield more accurate simulations of detector response, more reliable simulated neutron efficiency, and improve the results obtained when using simulated response matrices for spectrum unfolding. Ultimately, these improvements would benefit the design of detection systems for inspections, treaty verification activities, nuclear material accountancy, and other safeguards programs.

DNNG is working to better characterize the light output functions of various organic scintillators such as EJ-309, deuterated liquid scintillators, stilbene crystal detectors, and the latest plastic scintillators, in collaboration with colleagues in industry and the national lab community.  The work requires careful experiments utilizing techniques such as time-of-flight and coincidence counting as well as robust simulation efforts.  Work is also ongoing on techniques for pulse pile-up rejection and recovery, energy resolution and calibration, and other basic properties of scintillators.

Related Journal Articles:

  1. M.A. Norsworthy, A. Poitrasson-Rivière, M. L. Ruch, S. D. Clarke, S. A. Pozzi, “Evaluation of Neutron Light Output Response Functions in EJ-309 Organic Scintillators,” Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A, vol, 842, pgs. 20-27, 2017. (
  2. M. Bourne, S. Clarke, M. Paff, A. Di Fulvio, M. Norsworthy, S. Pozzi, “Digital Pileup Rejection of Plutonium Experiments with Solution-Grown Stilbene”, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A, in press (
  3. A. Di Fulvio, F. D. Becchetti, R. S. Raymond, R. O. Torres-Isea, S. D. Clarke, S. A. Pozzi, “Characterization of Deuterated-xylene Scintillator as Neutron Spectrometer,” submitted to IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science (TNS), Accepted 11-14-2016.

Related Conference Proceedings:

  1. E. King, M. Norsworthy, S. Clarke, S. Pozzi, “Pulse Shape Fitting for Pulse Shape Discrimination and Light Output Applications,” Institute of Nuclear Materials Management Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA (July 2016).