Texas Tech researchers find innovative way to help battle terror - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Texas Tech researchers find innovative way to help battle terrorism

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A group of Texas Tech University researchers have found an innovative way to help battle terrorism.

One of the most critical issues the United States faces today is preventing terrorists from smuggling nuclear weapons into its ports. To this end, the U.S. Security and Accountability for Every Port Act mandates all overseas cargo containers be scanned for possible nuclear materials or weapons.

Helium-3 gas works well to detect nuclear weapons, however, it’s extremely rare on Earth. It isn’t easy to reproduce, and the scarcity of helium-3 gas has caused its cost to skyrocket.

A group of Texas Tech researchers, led by Horn professors Hongxing Jiang and Jingyu Lin, report this week in Applied Physics Letters that after six years, they have developed an alternative material – hexagonal boron nitride semiconductors – for neutron detection. This material fulfills many key requirements for helium gas detector replacements and can serve as a low-cost alternative in the future.

This is a completely new material and technology that offers many advantages, and has the potential to revolutionize neutron detector technologies.

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