14 research outputs found

    A segmented total energy detector (sTED) for (n, ő≥) cross section measurements at n_TOF EAR2

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    This work was supported in part by the I+D+i grant PGC2018-096717-B-C21 funded by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 and by the European Commission H2020 Framework Programme project SANDA (Grant agreement ID: 847552).The neutron time-of-flight facility n_TOF is characterised by its high instantaneous neutron intensity, high resolution and broad neutron energy spectra, specially conceived for neutron-induced reaction cross section measurements. Two Time-Of-Flight (TOR) experimental areas are available at the facility: experimental area 1 (EAR1), located at the end of the 185 m horizontal flight path from the spallation target, and experimental area 2 (EAR2), placed at 20 m from the target in the vertical direction. The neutron fluence in EAR2 is similar to 300 times more intense than in EARL in the relevant time-of-flight window. EAR2 was designed to carry out challenging cross-section measurements with low mass samples (approximately 1 mg), reactions with small cross-sections or/and highly radioactive samples. The high instantaneous fluence of EAR2 results in high counting rates that challenge the existing capture systems. Therefore, the sTED detector has been designed to mitigate these effects. In 2021, a dedicated campaign was done validating the performance of the detector up to at least 300 keV neutron energy. After this campaign, the detector has been used to perform various capture cross section measurements at n_TOF EAR2.MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 I+D+i PGC2018-096717-B-C21European Commission H2020 Framework Programme SANDA 84755

    Measurement of the 76Ge(n,ő≥) cross section at the n_TOF facility at CERN

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    The Ge-76(n, gamma) reaction has been measured at the n_TOF facility at CERN via the time-of-flight technique. Neutron capture cross sections on Ge-76 are of interest to a variety of low-background experiments, such as neutrinoless double beta decay searches, and to nuclear astrophysics. We have determined resonance capture kernels up to 52 keV neutron energy and used the new data to calculate Maxwellian-averaged neutron capture cross sections for k(B)T values of 5 to 100 keV

    Characterization of a detector setup for the measurement of the

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    The measurement of the 235U(n,f) reaction cross section in the neutron energy region 10 MeV to 500 MeV was carried out at the CERN n_TOF facility. The experimental campaign, completed in 2018, provided precise and accurate data on the fission reaction relative to neutron-proton elastic scattering. A description and characterization of the used setup for the simultaneous measurement of fission fragments and neutron flux is reported here

    Status report of the n_TOF facility after the 2nd CERN long shutdown period

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    Abstract During the second long shutdown period of the CERN accelerator complex (LS2, 2019-2021), several upgrade activities took place at the n_TOF facility. The most important have been the replacement of the spallation target with a next generation nitrogen-cooled lead target. Additionally, a new experimental area, at a very short distance from the target assembly (the NEAR Station) was established. In this paper, the core commissioning actions of the new installations are described. The improvement in the n_TOF infrastructure was accompanied by several detector development projects. All these upgrade actions are discussed, focusing mostly on the future perspectives of the n_TOF facility. Furthermore, some indicative current and future measurements are briefly reported

    The neutron time-of-flight facility n_TOF at CERN Recent facility upgrades and detector developments

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    Based on an idea by Carlo Rubbia, the n_TOF facility at CERN has been operating for over 20 years. It is a neutron spallation source, driven by the 20 GeV/c proton beam from the CERN PS accelerator. Neutrons in a very wide energy range (from GeV, down to sub-eV kinetic energy) are generated by a massive Lead spallation target feeding two experimental areas. EAR1, horizonal with respect to the proton beam direction is set at 185 meters from the spallation target. EAR2, on the vertical line from the spallation source, is placed at 20 m. Neutron energies for experiments are selected by the time-of-flight technique (hence the name n_TOF), while the long flight paths ensure a very good energy resolution. Over one hundred experiments have been performed by the n_TOF Collaboration at CERN, with applications ranging from nuclear astrophysics (synthesis of the heavy elements in stars, big bang nucleosynthesis, nuclear cosmo-chronology), to advanced nuclear technologies (nuclear data for applications, nuclear safety), as well as for basic nuclear science (reaction mechanisms, structure and decay of highly excited compound states). During the planned shutdown of the CERN accelerator complex between 2019 and 2021, the facility went through a substantial upgrade with a new target-moderator assembly, refurbishing of the neutron beam lines and experimental areas. An additional measuring and irradiation station (the NEAR Station) has been envisaged and its capabilities for performing material test studies and new physics opportunities are presently explored. An overview of the facility and of the activities performed at CERN is presented in this contribution, with a particular emphasis on the most relevant experiments for nuclear astrophysics

    New perspectives for neutron capture measurements in the upgraded CERN-n_TOF Facility

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    The n_TOF facility has just undergone in 2021 a major upgrade with the installation of its third generation spallation target that has been designed to optimize the performance of the two n_TOF time-of-flight lines. This contribution describes the key features and limitations for capture measurements in the two beam lines prior to the target upgrade and presents first results of (n,ő≥) measurements carried out as part of the commissioning of the upgraded facility. In particular, the energy resolution, a key factor for both increasing the signal-to-background ratio and obtaining accurate resonance parameters, has been clearly improved for the 20 m long vertical beam-line with the new target design while keeping the remarkably high resolution of the long beamline n_TOF-EAR1. The improvements in the n_TOF neutron beam-lines need to be accompanied by improvements in the instrumentation. A review is given on recent detector R&D projects aimed at tackling the existing challenges and further improving the capabilities of this facility

    Measurement of the Gd-160(n, gamma) cross section at n_TOF and its medical implications

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    Neutron-capture reactions on gadolinium isotopes play an important role in several fields of physics, in particular in nuclear Astrophysics for the understanding of the nucleosynthesis of heavy elements (beyond iron) in stars via the s- and r-processes [1] and in nuclear technology. Another important application of gadolinium is linked to the production of terbium, that offers a set of clinically interesting isotopes for theranostics, characterized by complementary physical decay characteristics. In particular, the low -energy beta(-) emitter terbium-161 is very similar to lutetium-177 in terms of half-life (6.89 d), beta(-) - energy and chemical properties. Being a significant emitter of conversion/Auger electrons, greater therapeutic effect can therefore be expected in comparison to Lu-177 [2, 3]. For this reason, in the last decade, the study of the neutron capture reaction Gd-160(n,,gamma)(161) Gd and the subsequent beta(-) - decay in terbium-161 is getting particular attention. As the nuclear data on the Gd-160 neutron capture reaction are quite scarce and inconsistent, a new measurement of the capture cross section of Gd-160 at the CERN neutron Time -Of-Flight facilty was performed in order to provide high resolution, high -accuracy data on this important reaction, in the energy range from thermal to hundreds of keV. In this contribution, the preliminary results of the n_TOF measurement are presented

    Neutron-induced cross section measurements

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    Neutron-induced cross sections represent the main nuclear input to models of stellar and Big-Bang nucleosynthesis. While (n,ő≥) reactions are relevant for the formation of elements heavier than iron, (n,p) and (n,őĪ) reactions can play an important role in specific cases. The time-of-flight method is routinely used at n_TOF to experimentally determine the cross section data. In addition, recent upgrades of the facility will allow the use of activation techniques as well, possibly opening the way to a systematic study of neutron interaction with radioactive isotopes. In the last 20 years n_TOF has provided a large amount of experimental data for Nuclear Astrophysics. Our plan is to carry on challenging measurements and produce nuclear data in the next decades as well

    New detection systems for an enhanced sensitivity in key stellar (n,ő≥) measurements

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    Neutron capture cross-section measurements are fundamental in the study of astrophysical phenomena, such as the slow neutron capture (s-) process of nucleosynthesis operating in red-giant and massive stars. However, neutron capture measurements via the time-of-flight (TOF) technique on key s-process nuclei are often challenging. Difficulties arise from the limited mass (‚ąľmg) available and the high sample-related background in the case of the unstable s-process branching points. Measurements on neutron magic nuclei, that act as s-process bottlenecks, are affected by low (n,ő≥) cross sections and a dominant neutron scattering background. Overcoming these experimental challenges requires the combination of facilities with high instantaneous flux, such as n_TOFEAR2, with detection systems with an enhanced detection sensitivity and high counting rate capabilities. This contribution reviews some of the latest detector developments in detection systems for (n,ő≥) measurements at n_TOF, such as i-TED, an innovative detection system which exploits the Compton imaging technique to reduce the dominant neutron scattering background and s-TED, a highly segmented total energy detector intended for high flux facilities. The discussion will be illustrated with results of the first measurement of key the s-process branching-point reaction 79Se(n,ő≥).Title in Web of Science: New detection systems for an enhanced sensitivity in key stellar (n,gamma) measurements</p

    First 80Se(n,ő≥) cross section measurement with high resolution in the full stellar energy range 1 eV - 100 keV and its astrophysical implications for the s-process

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