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3He Neutron Detector Amplifier

A neutron detector was required for an area of our research.  After considering several different alternatives, including BF3 (boron triflouride) and plastic scintillators, it was decided to use a 3He (helium 3, an isotope of helium) detector with a HDPE moderator.  After acquiring the detector tube, we built a custom power supply and amplifier into a housing that once held a RF power meter detector.  Below are photos and descriptions of this project.

3He Detector with N connector

Above is the 3He tube mounted to a N connector that will mate with the connector on the repurposed power meter.

Amplifier Case Parts

Above are the parts salvaged from the power meter head, including the LEMO connector with its original insert removed.

Amplifier Printed Circuit Board    Chromed PCB Mask

Above are the printed circuit board and the chrome mask used to expose the photo resist.  The mask was generated on our custom mask making machine.

Populated Amplifier PCB

Above, the PCB with components mounted is shown.

LEMO Connector Parts

Above, the original LEMO connector with guts removed and the replacement LEMO connector that was inserted in the original shell.

Final Assembly without cover

Above is the assembled amplifier and 3He detector tube with the outer covers shown.

Bottom of Final Amplifier Assembly

Above, the bottom of the amplifier assembly is shown, including the high voltage power supply.

Assembled Amplifier and HDPE Moderator

The final assembly with covers in place and the HPDE moderator shown next to the 3He tube.

Neutron Detector Scope Plot

Above is a oscilloscope plot showing a neutron detection event.  The green trace is used as a trigger and the yellow one is the output of the amplifier (the length of the output pulse has been streached to match our application).

For more information,

Please call us at 920-955-3693 or email 


Last Modified May 2, 2017
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