Proton-Induced Neutron Beams

The characterization of proton induced neutron fields is studied at the Bern medical cyclotron by means of a novel experimental approach based on a novel detector called DIAMON.

The Direction-aware Isotropic and Active neutron MONitor with spectrometric capabilities (DIAMON) is an innovative detector developed by the Nuclear Measurement Laboratory of Politecnico di Milano and its spin-off company RAYLAB.. Unlike traditional methods of measuring and characterising neutron fields, DIAMON doesn't rely on guess distributions, making it uniquely capable of providing real-time neutron energy spectra in various challenging environments. This innovation has significant implications for radiation protection, nuclear research, decommissioning of nuclear facilities, and understanding neutron effects on materials and electronics.

DIAMON is able to cover a wide energy range, from thermal to fast energies, without requiring external inputs about the guessed spectrum. It can also determine the direction distribution of incoming neutrons. This all-in-one system incorporates a self-running unfolding code, making the measurement process efficient and accurate.

To test the DIAMON detector, measurements were performed with neutron fields at the CERN-EU high-energy Reference Field (CERF) and the Bern medical cyclotron. DIAMON's measurements were compared with well-established techniques, such as the Berthold LB 6411 rem counter and sophisticated FLUKA Monte Carlo simulations. The results demonstrated DIAMON's ability to characterise complex and unknown neutron fields with high precision.


Braccini, S., Casolaro, P., Dellepiane, G. et al. A novel experimental approach to characterize neutron fields at high- and low-energy particle accelerators. Sci Rep 12, 16886 (2022).

Article by CHIPP