Development and applications of time-of-flight neutron depth profiling (TOF-NDP)

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Abstract

Neutron depth profiling (NDP) is a surface analysis technique based on the irradiation of samples with thermal or sub-thermal neutrons, and subsequent release of charged particles. Emitted particles rapidly lose kinetic energy primarily through interactions with the electrons of the substrate material. The depth of the reaction site can be found by using stopping power correlations. In conventional NDP, particle residual energy is measured by using a silicon semiconductor detector. In time-of-flight NDP (TOF-NDP), the energy can be determined by particle flight time. Time measurement can be made more sensitively than the energy measurement. Silicon semiconductor detectors can be replaced by microchannel plates (MCP). In this study, TOF-NDP concept will be briefly explained; Penn State TOF-NDP facility will be introduced; preliminary measurements performed with an alpha-source will be presented.

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