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RAP opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology     NIST

Development of Nuclear Analytical Imaging Techniques for Materials Analysis with Spatial and Spectral Specificity


Material Measurement Laboratory, Chemical Sciences Division

opportunity location
50.64.61.B8477 Gaithersburg, MD

NIST only participates in the February and August reviews.


name email phone
Huaiyu Heather Chen-Mayer 301.975.5595


The objective of this research is to develop new measurement capabilities for nuclear analytical techniques associated with the measurement of induced gamma ray emissions during thermal and cold neutron beam irradiation. Nondestructive methods such as Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis (PGAA) are well suited for multi-elemental analysis for bulk materials. The research will explore imaging of gamma ray emission by Compton scattering in a neutron beam environment, and develop image reconstruction techniques to obtain spatial distribution of the elemental composition based on spectral analysis of the emitted radiation. Much of the effort will be dedicated to developing and applying coincidence measurement detection systems suitable for spectral gamma ray imaging during neutron beam irradiation. The research is conducted at a neutron beam instrument at the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR).



Chen-Mayer, HH, et al: Feasibility Study of Compton Imaging for PGAA. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 322:1729–1738, 2019.

Chen, H, et al: Spectroscopic Compton imaging of prompt gamma emission at the MeV energy range. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry (2018) 318:241–246, 2018. 

Paul RL, et al: NGD cold-neutron prompt gamma-ray activation analysis spectrometer at NIST. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 304(1): 189-193, 2015

Polf JC, Parodi K: Imaging particle beams for cancer treatment. Physics Today 68(10): 28-33, 2015


key words
Gamma ray coincidence measurement; Compton Scattering Gamma ray imaging; Neutron activation analysis; Composition analysis; Prompt gamma activation analysis; Elemental analysis; Non-destructive analysis;


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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