Design of high-entropy hexaborides as model systems of complex ceramics for sensor applications

Project to design and manufacture new high-entropy 10 B-enriched hexaborides for applications in radiation detection, with a special focus on the detection of thermal, epithermal and slow neutrons. The grand challenge we address is the design and manufacturing of revolutionary neutron detectors that are inexpensive and would not require 3 He, thereby reducing dependence on this dramatically dwindling national resource. For this purpose, we focus on the discovery of new high-entropy hexaboride materials, which can effectively generate internal electron-hole pairs upon neutron bombardment, and allow subsequent quantification of neutron signal. Our focus will be on detection of thermal neutrons of energies 0.025 eV, epithermal neutrons of energies between 0.025 and 0.4 eV, and slow neutrons of energies between 1 and 10 eV.

This project is in collaboration with Olivia Graeve from University of California, San Diego and sponsored by the National Science Foundation.