Thesis topic proposal

Design, construct and test a prototype neutron detector

Helium-3 isotope is commonly used as detection medium in detectors applied for neutron detection in many fields of industry and physics. The world crisis of He-3 isotope is forcing for a research and development of other neutron detection methods. Recently, a multigrid gas detector based on boron coated blades has been developed at Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble as an alternative for commonly applied He-3 proportional counters in neutron scattering experiments. However, it may be considered to use this solution for other applications.

The objective of this project is to design, construct and test a prototype neutron detector dedicated for use in homeland security. This study requires that in initial phase  of the project the PhD student will be delegated to ILL for gaining experience on detector fabrication. As the project moves on, the PhD student must share time between ILL (France) for prototype construction and NCBJ (Poland) for prototype design and characterization. The course of the study covers:

  • characterization of detector performance already available at ILL,
  • a study of the state-of-the-art in neutron detection for border monitoring applications,
  • operating a small cell gas detector with boron coated film at NCBJ,
  • modelling of the detector response to fast neutrons (with optimization of boron coated films and moderator around the designed detector module),
  • laboratory tests of selected optimal boron coated film at NCBJ,
  • design of the prototype detector,
  • construction of the prototype detector at ILL,
  • laboratory tests of prototype detector developed at NCBJ.

At ILL the PhD student will be supported by the ILL staff and by local PhD student to gain experience regarding construction and operation of the MultiGrid detectors. At NCBJ, the work will be supported by the staff of Radiation Detectors Division of NCBJ.

ILL foresees, that the PhD studies should last 3 years and declares full salary coverage within this time frame. If the PhD student applies for extending the course by one year, the salary will be covered by NCBJ under conditions applied to all PHD students at NCBJ.

This recruitment procedure requires that pre-selected candidates will visit ILL for an interview with ILL and NCBJ staff. The travel costs for the candidates will be covered by ILL. Finally, the candidate shall pass an exam accordingly to NCBJ procedures

The candidates should have a university degree, preferably in Physics. Skills listed below will be considered as advantages:

  • experience with operating radiation detectors, specifically gaseous detectors,
  • programming at basic level (e.g. C++, Java, Python) to develop codes for simulation of detectors response to ionizing radiation,
  • experience with Geant4 or MCNP.

Please send your submissions by email to by February 16th, 2018.