Retrospective thermal neutron fluence determination using lithium-ion mobile telephone batteries Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/pv63g350p

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  • Fortuitous dosimeters are radiosensitive objects carried by an individual who was exposed to radiation. These objects can be analyzed some time after exposure and the results can be used to aid in calculating radiation fields and doses received by individuals. Items that make good fortuitous dosimeters are those that are consistent in their manufacture and are carried by a large percentage of the population. Some materials are more suitable than others for retrospective dosimetry, depending upon their sensitivity, signal retention (i.e. fading), and the type of radiation to which they respond. The effectiveness and sensitivity of lithium-ion (Li-ion) mobile telephone batteries as fortuitous neutron dosimeters is investigated in this research. Neutron fluences are estimated based upon the activation products formed in batteries during exposure. In the past, objects such as keys and coins were used for retrospective neutron dosimetry. Mobile phone batteries were chosen as possible candidates for dosimeters because of their widespread use by the general population and the observation that most users carry these objects on or near the torso. Lithium-ion mobile-phone batteries were irradiated with neutrons in beam port #4 of the Oregon State University TRIGA® reactor and subsequently analyzed using gamma spectroscopy in order to identify activation products formed, and to determine the linearity of their response to several neutron fluences. Batteries exposed to thermal neutron fluencies ranging from 2.8x10⁸ n·cm⁻² to 3.4x10¹⁰ n·cm⁻² generated ⁶⁰Co count rates ranging from 0.022 (±4.5%) cps to 2.890 (±0.6%) cps. Cobalt emerged as an element commonly found in Li-ion battery cathodes as a candidate for neutron activation analysis months to years following their irradiation. This is due to the relatively high cobalt content by weight found in these batteries and its 5.27 year half-life. Thermal neutron fluences were estimated with accuracy ranging from 2% to 23% of actual fluences, with an average accuracy of 12%. The activation of cobalt in the samples was highly linear with fluence (R²=0.995).
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