Research by a Kansas State University professor may help fight the war on terrorism by making it easier to detect weapons of mass destruction — in particular nuclear weapons. When fully developed these neutron detector devices could assist international weapons inspectors detect the presence of unauthorized nuclear weapons and materials, such as those alleged to be in Iraq’s possession.
The essence of the small, portable detectors is a small wafer developed by Douglas McGregor, a K-State associate professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering. McGregor.
The working part of the wafer, which is about the size of a collar button, operates by fabricating a diode out of semiconductor material such as gallium arsenide, a semiconductor material similar to silicon.