What Is a DT (Deuterium-Tritium) Neutron Generator?
A DT neutron generator, or deuterium-tritium neutron generator, creates neutron radiation by fusion reactions between deuterium and tritium. Deuterium is an isotope of hydrogen which contains an extra neutron in its nucleus, while tritium is an isotope of hydrogen with two extra neutrons, making them heavier than elemental hydrogen and giving them unique physical properties in comparison.
Our D-T neutron generators produce 14 MeV neutrons by colliding a high-energy plasma beam containing deuterium ions with a tritium target, resulting in helium ions and neutron radiation
When a deuterium atom and a tritium atom collide at the right energy, their nuclei fuse. The products of this reaction include the tritium atom created in the reaction and the leftover neutrons that no longer fit in the nucleus, which comprise a burst of neutron radiation. By continually supplying high-energy tritium and deuterium and facilitating fusion reactions, a DT neutron generator can create a steady and consistent output of neutron production.
Rather than relying on nuclear fission, which creates neutron radiation by splitting heavy elements such as highly enriched uranium into smaller, but still heavy elements such as barium and krypton, our neutron generators use compact particle accelerators to cause fusion reactions out of lighter particles with byproducts that are less dangerous than fission byproducts.
In our DT neutron generators, an electrically driven particle accelerator creates a plasma ion beam comprised of high-energy, positively charged deuterium ions. This ion beam, which reaches an energy of up to 300 kV, collides with a target containing tritium. The accelerated ions of deuterium fuse with the tritium atoms in the target, producing more hydrogen isotopes as well as generating neutron production.
While a typical neutron source might produce around 1 MeV neutrons, a fast neutron imaging system utilizing our neutron source can produce beams made up of up to 16 MeV neutrons . The neutron radiation can be harnessed and its temperature adjusted by a custom moderator to fit various industrial needs.
DT neutron generators use a gaseous tritium target to produce fusion reactions. Our unique open-tube system, unlike any other accelerator-based sealed tube neutron generators system, allows the gas target to be easily replenished while the system is in operation, allowing for an essentially indefinite lifespan as long as the system is maintained.