The NIPS-NORMA instrument, similarly to the PGAA, is suitable for the non-destructive determination of bulk elemental composition of various samples, based on the detection of the characteristic prompt-gamma radiation induced by neutron capture into the atomic nucleus. The most of the major components and a few trace elements (e.g. B, Cl, Co, Cd, Hg, Sm and Gd) in rocks, minerals, ceramics, glass, metals and many inorganic materials can be determined. In addition, NIPSNORMA station allows performing a position-sensitive elemental analysis of well-defined spots on larger objects (sculptures, vessels, etc. with up to the size of ca. 15 cm). Furthermore, it is possible to combine the 2D or 3D neutron imaging with local elemental analysis. At the moment, this technique is exclusively available at the BNC. The NIPS-NORMA and the PGAA instruments share the same cold neutron guided beam.
The thermal-equivalent neutron flux at the NIPS sample positions is 2.7Å~107 cm–2 s–1. The beam could be collimated to any rectangular shape with a max. cross-section of 4Å~4 cm2. A sample chamber with dimensions of 20Å~20Å~20 cm3 is available for large-sample analysis and positionsensitive applications. Objects up to 5 kg (such as swords, vases, stones, etc.) can be positioned and analyzed in the beam using a XYZ motorized sample stage with a travel distance of 150 mm. An n-type coaxial HPGe detector (Canberra GR 2318/S) equipped with a Scionix BGO Compton suppressor is used for the routine prompt-gamma measurements. Variable lead gamma collimators with slits of 30 mm diameter, 2Å~20 mm2 or 5Å~5 mm2 are available for PGAI measurements. A digital signal processor combined with an Ethernet-based multichannel analyzer module (Canberra AIM 556B) collects the counts. A user-friendly facility control program is used for manual, semiautomatic, and unattended automatic batch measurements.
- Kis Z, Szentmiklósi L, Belgya T (2015) NIPS–NORMA station—a combined facility for neutronbased non-destructive element analysis and imaging at the Budapest Neutron Centre. Nucl Instr Meth A 779:116-123.