Neutron Detectors & Radiation Sources Lab

The development and characterization of neutron technologies, such as position sensitive detectors, beam monitors, neutrons choppers…, requires access to neutrons. ESS Bilbao has recently set up a lab for neutron detector development at their headquarters in Zamudio. New neutron detection strategies based on scintillators and tests of prototypes will be carried out in this laboratory.



  • Scintillator materials: 6Li/ZnS and 6Li glass.
  • NIM electronics: Counters, discriminators, analyzers…
  • Photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) and Silicon photomultipliers (Si-PMs).
  • Blackout room with microscope and high sensibility cameras.
  • 252Cf low activity neutron source and moderation and shielding materials (PE and lead Tricks).
  • Application to the legal authority to install an 241AmBe neutron source of 1 Ci of activity is underway.
  • Gamma Sources.

Neutron detector


  • Test of the detectors for MIRACLES insgtrument.
  • Characterization of detector prototypes based on the detection of the light produces in scintillation materials by optical fibers, plastic (POF) or Wavelength Shifting (WLF) and photomultiplier tubes.
  • Development of new detectors based on the using ZnS/6LiF scintillators coupled to CMOS cameras and a demagnification optics to detect and image the light of single neutrons.
  • Development of low attenuation and background beam monitors.
  • Characterization of neutron absorption layers for neutron choppers.
  • Moderator and shielding calculation validations.
  • Services for industry and academia.

Neutron detector