FINDER or Faculty Initiative for Novel Detectors for Radiation Detection

Link to the FINDER site

Center for Materials Research and Analysis


FINDER, the Faculty Initiative for Novel Detectors for Radiation Detection, is a group of faculty in Engineering (electrical, industrial, materials and mechanical), Physics and Chemistry working together to go from theory behind neutron detection to the “real-life” working neutron detector for the user.

The FINDER group has developed the Portable Ergonomic Real-time Solid-state Neutron Active-Layer (PERSoNAL) Detector.  The key to this device is semiconducting boron carbide, a material that can be produced as a tiny, rugged, gamma-blind diode which will detect neutrons in real time.  Imagine a Lego block that can tell you if someone is sneaking a dirty bomb into your country.  Now put this block into a hand-held tool that is user friendly, durable, and weighs about one pound.  The result is the instrument that homeland security officials and first response units have been waiting for.



Overview Flyer

Coming soon

For more information go to LabNotes in the College of Engineering Webpage:

P ortable

E rgonomic Put picture of the thing here- I will get you a good pic later.

R eal-time

S olid-state

N eutron

A ctive-

L ayer

(PERSoNAL) Detector

Heart of which is semiconducting boron carbide discovered by a group of professors at UNL


Research Team :

Sina Balkir

Neil Boag

Jennifer Brand

Peter Dowben

Susan Hallbeck

Research Questions addressed by the IDEA lab

  • What type of packaging is required for various occupations such as first responders, customs agents, etc? These may be hand-held wand or devices imbedded in the user’s clothing or personal protective gear.
  • What is the best way to display of the information to the end user?

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