SCK•CEN’s activities have a greater direct impact on your daily life than you might think. For instance, in our BR2 reactor we irradiate silicon, a substance found in very pure white sand. Via irradiation we introduce impurities into the silicon to create semi-conductors. This ‘neutron doped silicon’ is used for a wide range of electronic components, e.g. computer chips.
As a superior quality semi-conductor, neutron doped silicon is the ideal raw material for the production of essential components in high-power electrical applications, renewable energy sources and low carbon dioxide transport systems. This material is consequently found in hybrid vehicles, locomotives for high speed trains, solar panels, wind turbines, etc.
SCK•CEN irradiates silicon on behalf of leading industries worldwide. The irradiation capacity of the BR2 reactor accounts for approximately 20 % of current global production
a proportion which is increasing.
More info: Silicon doping