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RAP opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology     NIST

Designing Liquid Scintillators for Optimal Light Yield, Pulse Shape Discrimination, and Neutron Sensitivity for Applications in Neutrino Physics


Physical Measurement Laboratory, Radiation Physics Division

opportunity location
50.68.21.C0494 Gaithersburg, MD

NIST only participates in the February and August reviews.


name email phone
Denis Eugene Bergeron 301.975.2282
Hans Pieter Mumm 301.975.8355


Liquid scintillators have been at the heart of measurements at NIST for decades. Our scientists have pushed the limits of liquid scintillation-based techniques for radionuclide metrology and neutron detection. Now, liquid scintillators are playing a central role in neutrino physics. Detectors containing thousands of liters of specially formulated scintillators have been deployed to look for beyond Standard Model physics, including the search for “sterile neutrinos”. These applications rely on the inverse beta decay (IBD) reaction, whereby an electron antineutrino captures on a proton, producing a positron and a neutron. Organic liquid scintillators provide a proton-rich target and spiking them with lithium-6 increases sensitivity to neutrons. Moreover, proper formulation of the scintillator means that the response to the positron and the neutron look sufficiently  different enough to make IBD events very distinctive. Our project seeks to improve scintillators to get increased sensitivity, efficiency, and discrimination. The incumbent will work at the frontiers and intersections of surfactant chemistry, micellar dynamics, chemistry of lithium compounds, and neutrino physics.

key words
liquid scintillation; inverse beta decay; neutrino detection; reverse micelle; lithium chemistry


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$82,764.00 $3,000.00
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