3D printed neutron collimator

Neutron collimators reduce the background signal in neutron experiments such as diffraction and spectrometry, by absorbing stray neutrons. Common designs include Soller and radial collimators, which typically consist of blades coated with a highly absorbing material in a parallel or diverging arrangement respectively. For more information on these collimators, have a look here.

Collimators based on blades inherently collimate in one dimension only, but advances in 3D printing technology allow more intricate designs, enabling 2D collimation. Recently we received the first proof of principle in the form of cubes, 3D-printed from enriched boron carbide powder (10B4C). These first ‘collimator prototypes’ are 20x20x20 mm, with 5×5 mm, straight walled channels. We are currently exploring different designs and optimizing the structural integrity, vane thickness and smoothness.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you want to learn more.