In spite of considerable progress in neutron dosimetry, there is no dosemeter that is capable of measuring neutron doses independently of the neutron spectrum with good accuracy. Carbon-doped aluminium oxide (Al2O3:C) is a sensitive material for ionising radiation (beta-ray, X ray and electron) and has been used for applications in personal and medical dosimetry as an optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dosemeter. Al2O3:C has a low sensitivity to neutron radiation; this prevents its application to neutron fields, representing a disadvantage of Al2O3:C-OSL when compared with LiF, which is used as a thermoluminescent detector. Recently an improvement for neutron dosimetry (Passmore and Kirr. Neutron response characterisation of an OSL neutron dosemeter. Radiat. Prot. Dosim. 2011;144:155-60) uses Al2O3:C coated with 6Li2CO3 (OSLN),which gives the highsensitive response as known for Al2O3:C with the advantage of being also sensitive to thermal neutrons. In this article, the authors compare small-size detectors (droplets) of Al2O3:C (OSL) and of Al2O3C+6Li2CO3 (OSLN) and discuss the advantages and drawbacks of both materials, regarding size vs. response.