Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #353482

Research Project: Enhancing Production and Ecosystem Services of Horticultural and Agricultural Systems in the Southeastern United States

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Energy correlated timing spectra in target neutron techniques

item KAVETSKIY, ALEKSANDR - Auburn University
item Yakubova, Galina
item Prior, Stephen - Steve
item Torbert, Henry - Allen

Submitted to: Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/27/2018
Publication Date: 8/9/2018
Citation: Kavetskiy, A., Yakubova, G.N., Prior, S.A., Torbert III, H.A. 2018. Energy correlated timing spectra in target neutron techniques. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Bean Interactions with Materials and Atoms. 433:80–86.

Interpretive Summary: The incorporation of carbon from atmospheric CO2 in plants can help mitigate global change through soil carbon storage. This work reflects efforts to develop in situ methods of measuring soil carbon without destructive soil sampling. Neutron based associated particle imaging (API) has been used to detect hidden illicit materials such as explosives, fissile materials, and narcotics. This work discusses the construction of an API experimental setup that can non-destructively measure soil carbon in the field.

Technical Abstract: An associated particle imaging (API) experimental setup with nanosecond operated electronics was constructed and tested. This API setup has the ability to measure alpha-gamma coincidence (timing) spectra, time correlated energy gamma spectra, and energy correlated timing spectra. The speed of 14.1 MeV neutron was defined from measurement of carbon energy correlated timing spectra. The measured value (5.2 cm/ns) agreed with reference data that confirmed a proper working setup and authenticated experimental results. Test experiments with graphite samples demonstrated that the minimal detectible level (MDL) of carbon with the appropriate timing window in API mode is 2.5 times less than in continuous mode. Results indicate that this API method is quite promising for soil carbon analysis due to significantly improved MDL.