The MUTR’s thermal column is currently configured for Neutron Imaging. When the reactor is operating, collimating plug installed in the thermal column access port to provides a 2″ diameter beam of neutrons to the sample. After passing through the sample, the neutrons interact with a Li-6 scintillator sheet and produce photons in the visible spectrum which can be imaged by an image intensified camera mounted on a movable slide mechanism. The aluminum slide mechanism has a range of about 147mm (~5.7in) and positioned relative to the detector to obtain optimal focus. Once the detector has received the image it sends the information to the computer where it can be analyzed via the experimenter. Neutron imaging is often used as a complementary technique to x-rays as neutrons are highly penetrating in dense materials such as lead, but very sensitive to light elements such as hydrogen and lithium.
The neutron imaging camera can image samples up to approximately 2″ in diameter with a resolution ofabout 300 microns. Irradiations in the highly thermailized beam of the thermal column are also possible. The neutron flux is approximately 1.0 x 104 n/cm2/sec.