STFC offers you an opportunity to gain paid practical experience as part of your degree, learning on the job and working on real projects alongside expert scientists and engineers.
ISIS is the world’s leading centre for pulsed neutrons and muons. It provides scientists and engineers with a facility to determine the structure and dynamics of materials at the molecular/atomic level. A vigorous research and development programme is underway to meet the demands for new detectors at ISIS. The successful student will contribute to this programme, working alongside experienced scientists to develop and evaluate the potential of new detector technologies. At ISIS the properties of any given detector have to be carefully matched to the specific scientific techniques performed on the neutron or muon instrument they serve. The detection efficiency, the scintillation efficiency and light collection efficiency all need to be carefully optimised to meet the requirements of particular instruments.
This placement will focus on the development of scintillation detectors for use in large area neutron detectors for future ISIS upgrades. Large area neutron detector arrays have been constructed in the past using 3He filled gas tubes and scintillation detectors equipped with 6LiF:ZnS(Ag) scintillators. Since 3He is not available anymore in sufficient quantities for large arrays and 6LiF:ZnS(Ag) based scintillation detectors are too slow for some applications, alternative technologies are being developed. At ISIS we are investigating the possibility of replacing 6LiF:ZnS(Ag) scintillators with faster scintillators.
List of Duties / Work Programme / Responsibilities: The successful candidate will investigate methods to produce wavelength shifting fibre read out scintillation detectors with the required performance and at an acceptable cost. This is typically done by designing and constructing a number of small prototype detectors, experimentally determining the characteristics of these detectors and optimising the design. Detector characteristics that will be measured include: neutron detection efficiency, gamma sensitivity, intrinsic detector background, detector resolution and count-rate capability. At the end of the project a prototype detector will be built to verify the performance on a more realistic scale. The candidate will carry responsibility for the experimental programme. The placement student is expected to present results of the project in regular meetings with his/her line manager and section meetings.
Contacts and Communication: The ISIS Detector Group currently consists of 14 members of staff and is divided into two teams. The Research and Development team is responsible for detector performance and the Technical team is responsible for detector prototyping, assembly, installation and maintenance. The post holder’s immediate line manager is part of the Research and Development section. Additional contacts will include all personnel of the ISIS Neutron Detector Group.
Personal Skills and Attributes: Willingness to work as part of a multidisciplinary team and with ionising radiation is a requirement. It would be advantageous if the student is dextrous and has a particular interest in experimental research.
Any other Relevant Information: Work will require the use of sealed radiation sources and some opportunity to perform tests on ISIS beam lines is available.
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