Response of nuclear track detector CR-39 to low energy muons

H S P Thomas, R M Deas, L N Kirkham, P M Dodd, E Zemaityte, A D Hillier, D Neely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effectiveness of the PolyAllyl Diglycol Carbonate (PADC) etched solid state nuclear track detector (SSNTD), commonly known as CR-39, as a muon detector is assessed. CR-39 is successfully used to detect higher rest mass particles such as neutrons and protons, and is, for example, widely used in neutron dosimetry applications. CR-39 is generally accepted as being less suitable to detect lower rest mass particles such as muons, and especially electrons, due mostly to their reduced momenta and consequently, reduced stopping power. However, there has been some evidence that CR-39 may have application in the detection of cosmic ray muons. Monte Carlo simulations indicate that CR-39 can detect muons with energies up to 2.8 MeV. Experimental data to demonstrate the ability of CR-39 to detect muons was acquired using the MuSR spectrometer station at the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source. Pits deposited in CR-39 generated by positive muons from the beamline have been characterised and compared with pits deposited by protons and neutrons from other sources. The extent to which a CR-39 SSNTD can discriminate muons from particles with different momenta and rest masses is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124001
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number12
Early online date20 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2021


  • muon device
  • muon detector
  • muons


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