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Scintillator-based Timepix3 detector for neutron spin-echo techniques using intensity modulation

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Review of Scientific Instruments
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A scintillator-based Timepix3 (TPX3) detector was developed to resolve the high-frequency modulation of a neutron beam in both spatial and temporal domains, as required for neutron spin-echo experiments. In this system, light from a scintillator is manipulated with an optical lens and is intensified using an image intensifier, making it detectable with the TPX3 chip. Two different scintillators, namely, 6LiF:ZnS(Ag) and 6LiI:Eu, were investigated to achieve the high resolution needed for spin-echo modulated small-angle neutron scattering (SEMSANS) and modulation of intensity with zero effort (MIEZE). The methodology for conducting event-mode analysis is described, including the optimization of clustering parameters for both scintillators. The detector with both scintillators was characterized with respect to detection efficiency, spatial resolution, count rate, uniformity, and γ-sensitivity. The 6LiF:ZnS(Ag) scintillator-based detector achieved a spatial resolution of 200 μm and a count rate capability of 1.1 × 105 cps, while the 6LiI:Eu scintillator-based detector demonstrated a spatial resolution of 250 μm and a count rate capability exceeding 2.9 × 105 cps. Furthermore, high-frequency intensity modulations in both spatial and temporal domains were successfully observed, confirming the suitability of this detector for SEMSANS and MIEZE techniques, respectively.