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Fabrication of Black Body Grids by Thick Film Printing for Quantitative Neutron Imaging...

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Journal of Imaging
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Neutron imaging offers deep penetration through many high-Z materials while also having high sensitivity to certain low-Z isotopes such as 1H, 6Li, and 10B. This unique combination of properties has made neutron imaging an attractive tool for a wide range of material science and engineering applications. However, measurements made by neutron imaging or tomography are generally qualitative in nature due to the inability of detectors to discriminate between neutrons which have been transmitted through the sample and neutrons which are scattered by the sample or within the detector. Recent works have demonstrated that deploying a grid of small black bodies (BBs) in front of the sample can allow for the scattered neutrons to be measured at the BB locations and subsequently subtracted from the total measured intensity to yield a quantitative transmission measurement. While this method can be very effective, factors such as the scale and composition of the sample, the beam divergence, and the resolution and construction of the detector may require optimization of the grid design to remove all measurement biases within a given experimental setup. Therefore, it is desirable to have a method by which BB grids may be rapidly and inexpensively produced such that they can easily be tailored to specific applications. In this work, we present a method for fabricating BB patterns by thick film printing of Gd2O3 and evaluate the performance with variation in feature size and number of print layers with cold and thermal neutrons.