Within STFC, ISIS is part of the National Laboratories directorate. The National Laboratories provide research facilities and capabilities that, because of their scale, complexity and cost, are appropriately operated as a national research resource. The ISIS pulsed neutron and muon source is the world-leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences. It provides scientists and engineers with a facility to determine the structure and dynamics of materials at the molecular/atomic level, using beams of neutrons and muons.
The Neutron Detector group has a meticulous research and development programme to meet the demands for new radiation detectors at ISIS. At ISIS the properties of any given detector have to be carefully matched to the specific scientific techniques performed on the neutron or muon instrument they serve. The successful student will contribute to this programme, working alongside experienced scientists to develop and evaluate the potential of new detector technologies.
The Neutron Detector Group has two positions available. The first position is the development of detectors for Muon spectroscopy applications. The second position is the development of micro pattern gas detectors for neutron scattering applications.
Within the muon detector section of the group, an extensive development program is underway to deliver detectors for our new SuperMuSR muon spectrometer. This program will be at a key stage where we have to adapt the chosen detector technology to the requirements and constraints of SuperMuSR. Results acquired by the successful candidate will be crucial input for the final detector design.
In the group’s gas detector section, nitrogen filled GEM based detectors are under development for the LOKI beam line at the European Spallation Source in Lund (Sweden). Additionally, 3He filled µRWELL detectors are being investigated for use on ISIS beam lines. The challenge is to successfully process the very small and fast signals from these detectors to achieve the required performance.
The successful candidates will investigate methods to produce detectors with the required performance and at an acceptable cost. This is typically done by designing and constructing a number of small prototype detectors, experimentally determining the characteristics of these detectors and optimising the design in our suite of laboratories. Detector characteristics that will be measured include: detection efficiency, gamma sensitivity, intrinsic detector background, detector resolution and count-rate capability. At the end of the project a prototype detector will be built to verify the performance on a more realistic scale. A successful detector will be awarded beam time on an ISIS instrument.
The successful candidates will be responsible for carrying out the experimental programme, with both hands-on experimental responsibilities as well as data analysis tasks. Help and advice will be provided by the supervisors. You are also encouraged to present the results of your project in regular meetings with your line manager and in section meetings.
Knowledge, Skills and Experience
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