Neutron, X-ray, Electron and Charged particle Radiation Sources

Neutron, X-ray, Electron and Charged particle Radiation Sources

Neutron, X-ray, Electron and Charged particle Radiation Sources

Neutron, X-ray, Electron and Charged particle Radiation Sources

Multiversal technologies pioneers in the creation of cutting edge technologies for generation of all kinds of radiation using compact nuclear fusion reactor called the Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) Device.

IEC stands for Inertial Electrostatic Confinement, not to be confused with inertial fusion that is accomplished using lasers or ion beams. This is an alternate confinement concept that uses electrostatic fields to dynamically confine the plasma.

An IEC device can produce controlled amount of neutrons, x-rays, electrons, ions, charged particles and gamma radiation. Since this device can be turned on and off with the flick of a switch, one would not have to worry about any run away reactions.  The fusion rate can be easily controlled in several ways, namely – applied voltage, applied current, gas pressure, gas composition, grid and chamber geometry.  Our devices can provide neutron sources in the range of 10^6 n/s to 10^9 n/s steady state with deuterium gas fuel.  When pulsed the reaction rate could be up by another two orders of magnitude.  The figure below gives a brief summary of some of the possible applications of the IEC device.

IEC applications final3

Why IEC devices?

Designed, optimized, and equipped to suit your radiation source needs, the radiation sources we provide you with are simple yet sophisticated that meet your requirements on a budget. Our innovative products combine to deliver truly optimized radiation sources at unprecedented prices. The unique combination of industry-leading efficiency, compactness, innovative design, and flexible system architecture brings various advanced applications.

In recent times, the world has witnessed an upsurge in the applications of nuclear radiation. With lots of applications in a wide range of fields, and many more on the horizon, nuclear radiation has become vital to the progress of our modern-day society. Many universities around the world have started a radiation training program, due to the number of job opportunities in nuclear engineering and medicine. Moreover, many research centers are using a
wide variety of radiation sources to probe into the nature of matter in new ways. Radiation sources are required to develop new industrial applications and new discoveries.

IEC device

IEC principleAlthough Earnshaw’s theorem has been used in the past to show that electrostatic confinement is impossible, this technique circumvents this problem by confining plasma dynamically. The simplest geometry of an IEC device is a concentric grid arrangement as shown in the figure to the right. The cathode is ~95% transparent.  The outer spherical chamber encloses the fuel gas such as deuterium at appropriate pressures. When a high enough voltage is applied to the cathode, the ambient gas is spontaneously ionized and plasma is generated. The plasma consists of positive ions, negative electrons and mostly neutrals. While the ions accelerate towards the cathode, the electrons accelerate towards the anode. Since the electrostatic acceleration process is 100% efficient (in the absence of collisions) the ions quickly gain high energies. Most of these ions miss the cathode as it is ~95% transparent and continue recirculating. During this recirculation process, the ions either run into each other or with the neutrals and cause fusion. This is the basic principle of operation of the device.

The IEC device is unique in the way it operates and has many applications. The number of applications increases as the efficiency of the device improves. Hence researchers’ effort to study and improve its performance will certainly lead to newer applications.

Radiation source comparison
Radiation sources are of utmost interest to scientists, industrialists and business personnel alike. Californium (Cf) -252 is one such source. Cf-252 is a very strong neutron emitter, with one microgram emitting about 3 million neutrons every second. Californium is a byproduct of plutonium production and can be formed by various neutron capture and radioactive decay processes. Californium-249 results from the beta decay of berkelium-249, while the heavier (higher-numbered – 252) isotopes are produced by intense neutron irradiation, typically in a nuclear reactor. Californium can also be produced in particle accelerators. There are several disadvantages of using Cf-252 and our device can circumvent these problems and offer many advantages.
Disadvantages of Cf-252 as observed by many users of this source
• This material is expensive and difficult to obtain in many places around the world, especially if nuclear reactors/accelerators are not in the vicinity.
• The limited half life of 2.6 yrs of this isotope limits its use and increases the operational cost due to frequent replacement of the source material.
• This source emits radiation (neutrons) continuously and hence shielding is required even when the source is not in use.
• Difficult to ship the material without extensive shielding and the destination has to be qualified to house such a source.
• Isotopic neutron sources like Cf-252 cannot be pulsed and the energy spectrum of the emitted neutrons is broad and peaks at energies below the threshold for some important reactions.
• The source strength cannot be varied at will. The source strength is fixed and it only decreases over time.
• The Californium source also produces both neutrons and gamma rays that are equally harmful to operators without appropriate shielding.
Advantages of the MT’s radiation sources
• The source strength remains constant and can be easily varied by several different means.
• The operational and maintenance costs of the device are much lower.
• The device can be turned off with the flip of a switch.
• The fuel is easy to obtain and can be easily replenished.
• The life span of the device is limitless with occasional maintenance since it uses a gas target.
• Compared to other solid target sources, this device has a much longer life and is easier to operate.
• The device can be either sealed or unsealed type, so the device could be operated with or without a vacuum pump.
• Pulsed operation of the device allows much higher fluxes for much shorter durations.
• Prompt gamma activation analysis becomes more accurate with this device as the device can be turned off after the necessary irradiation to measure the radiation from the activated species.
• The device is portable and requires minimal shielding during operation; shadow shielding could be employed to further reduce the shielding requirements.

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