Representatives from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and PartTec, an Indiana-based firm, formally signed a licensing agreement Thursday, Aug. 12, to market an advanced neutron detector system developed for the Spallation Neutron Source.

The Shifting Scintillator Neutron Detector can determine the time and position of captured neutrons, which enables researchers to obtain very accurate time-of-flight measurements.

Commercial interest in the product ranges from use at other neutron science facilties to security applications such as border security and monitoring shipping for the presence of fissionable material.

Because of shortages in the supply of helium-3, an isotope of helium that is commonly used in neutron detectors, PartTec re-engineered the system so that it can be used as an alternative to helium-3 detectors. This makes the Shifting Scintillator Neutron Detector a leading candidate to replace helium-3 detectors at neutron science facilities all over the world.