166 research outputs found

    Low Temperature Transport and Specific Heat Studies of Nd_{1-x}Pb_{x}MnO_{3} Single Crystals

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    Electrical transport and specific heat properties of Nd_{1-x}Pb_{x}MnO_{3} single crystals for 0.15 < x 0.5 have been studied in low temperature regime. The resistivity in the ferromagnetic insulating (FMI) phase for x < 0.3 has an activated character. The dependence of the activation gap Delta on doping x has been determined and the critical concentration for the zero-temperature metal-insulator transition was determined as x_{c} ~ 0.33. For a metallic sample with x=0.42, a conventional electron-electron (e-e) scattering term proportional T^{2} is found in the low-temperature electrical resistivity, although the Kadowaki-Woods ratio is found to be much larger for this manganite than for a normal metal. For a metallic sample with x=0.5, a resistivity minimum is observed for x= 0.5. The effect is attributed to weak localization and can be described by a negative T^{1/2} weak-localization contribution to resistivity for a disordered three-dimensional electron system. The specific heat data have been fitted to contributions from free electrons (gamma), spin excitations (beta_{3/2}), lattice and a Schottky-like anomaly related to the rare-earth magnetism of the Nd ions. The value of gamma is larger than for normal metals, which is ascribed to magnetic ordering effects involving Nd. Also, the Schottky-like anomaly appears broadened and weakened suggesting inhomogeneous molecular fields at the Nd-sites.Comment: 14 pages, 8 figure

    First results of the 241Am(n,f) cross section measurement at the Experimental Area 2 of the n_TOF facility at CERN

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    Feasibility, design and sensitivity studies on innovative nuclear reactors that could address the issue of nuclear waste transmutation using fuels enriched in minor actinides, require high accuracy cross section data for a variety of neutron-induced reactions from thermal energies to several tens of MeV. The isotope 241Am (T1/2= 433 years) is present in high-level nuclear waste (HLW), representing about 1.8 % of the actinide mass in spent PWR UOx fuel. Its importance increases with cooling time due to additional production from the ő≤-decay of 241Pu with a half-life of 14.3 years. The production rate of 241 Am in conventional reactors, including its further accumulation through the decay of 241Pu and its destruction through transmutation/incineration are very important parameters for the design of any recycling solution. In the present work, the 241 Am(n,f) reaction cross-section was measured using Micromegas detectors at the Experimental Area 2 of the n_TOF facility at CERN. For the measurement, the 235U(n,f) and 238U(n,f) reference reactions were used for the determination of the neutron flux. In the present work an overview of the experimental setup and the adopted data analysis techniques is given along with preliminary results

    Constraints on the dipole photon strength for the odd uranium isotopes

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    Background: The photon strength functions (PSFs) and nuclear level density (NLD) are key ingredients for calculation of the photon interaction with nuclei, in particular the reaction cross sections. These cross sections are important especially in nuclear astrophysics and in the development of advanced nuclear technologies. Purpose: The role of the scissors mode in the M1 PSF of (well-deformed) actinides was investigated by several experimental techniques. The analyses of different experiments result in significant differences, especially on the strength of the mode. The shape of the low-energy tail of the giant electric dipole resonance is uncertain as well. In particular, some works proposed a presence of the E1 pygmy resonance just above 7 MeV. Because of these inconsistencies additional information on PSFs in this region is of great interest. Methods: The ő≥-ray spectra from neutron-capture reactions on the 234^{234}U, 236^{236}U, and 238^{238}U nuclei have been measured with the total absorption calorimeter of the n_TOF facility at CERN. The background-corrected sum-energy and multi-step-cascade spectra were extracted for several isolated s-wave resonances up to about 140 eV. Results: The experimental spectra were compared to statistical model predictions coming from a large selection of models of photon strength functions and nuclear level density. No combination of PSF and NLD models from literature is able to globally describe our spectra. After extensive search we were able to find model combinations with modified generalized Lorentzian (MGLO) E1 PSF, which match the experimental spectra as well as the total radiative widths. Conclusions: The constant temperature energy dependence is favored for a NLD. The tail of giant electric dipole resonance is well described by the MGLO model of the E1 PSF with no hint of pygmy resonance. The M1 PSF must contain a very strong, relatively wide, and likely double-resonance scissors mode. The mode is responsible for about a half of the total radiative width of neutron resonances and significantly affects the radiative cross section

    Study of the photon strength functions and level density in the gamma decay of the n+U-234 reaction

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    The accurate calculations of neutron-induced reaction cross sections are relevant for many nuclear applications. The photon strength functions and nuclear level densities are essential inputs for such calculations. These quantities for U-235 are studied using the measurement of the gamma de-excitation cascades in radiative capture on U-234 with the Total Absorption Calorimeter at n_TOF at CERN. This segmented 4 pi gamma calorimeter is designed to detect gamma rays emitted from the nucleus with high efficiency. This experiment provides information on gamma multiplicity and gamma spectra that can be compared with numerical simulations. The code DICEBOXC is used to simulate the gamma cascades while GEANT4 is used for the simulation of the interaction of these gammas with the TAC materials. Available models and their parameters are being tested using the present data. Some preliminary results of this ongoing study are presented and discussed

    Measurement of the 14^{14}N(n,p)14^{14}C cross section at the CERN n_TOF facility from sub-thermal energy to 800 keV

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    Background: The 14^{14}N(n,p)14^{14}C reaction is of interest in neutron capture therapy, where nitrogen-related dose is the main component due to low-energy neutrons, and in astrophysics, where 14N acts as a neutron poison in the s-process. Several discrepancies remain between the existing data obtained in partial energy ranges: thermal energy, keV region and resonance region. Purpose: Measuring the 14N(n,p)14C cross section from thermal to the resonance region in a single measurement for the first time, including characterization of the first resonances, and providing calculations of Maxwellian averaged cross sections (MACS). Method: Time-of-flight technique. Experimental Area 2 (EAR-2) of the neutron time-of-flight (n_TOF) facility at CERN. 10^{10}B(n,őĪ{\alpha})7^7Li and 235^{235}U(n,f) reactions as references. Two detection systems running simultaneously, one on-beam and another off-beam. Description of the resonances with the R-matrix code sammy. Results: The cross section has been measured from sub-thermal energy to 800 keV resolving the two first resonances (at 492.7 and 644 keV). A thermal cross-section (1.809¬Ī\pm0.045 b) lower than the two most recent measurements by slightly more than one standard deviation, but in line with the ENDF/B-VIII.0 and JEFF-3.3 evaluations has been obtained. A 1/v energy dependence of the cross section has been confirmed up to tens of keV neutron energy. The low energy tail of the first resonance at 492.7 keV is lower than suggested by evaluated values, while the overall resonance strength agrees with evaluations. Conclusions: Our measurement has allowed to determine the 14^{14}N(n,p) cross-section over a wide energy range for the first time. We have obtained cross-sections with high accuracy (2.5 %) from sub-thermal energy to 800 keV and used these data to calculate the MACS for kT = 5 to kT = 100 keV.Comment: 18 pages, 15 figures, 4 table

    Neutron capture cross section measurements of Am-241 at the n_TOF facility

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    Neutron capture on Am-241 plays an important role in the nuclear energy production and also provides valuable information for the improvement of nuclear models and the statistical interpretation of the nuclear properties. A new experiment to measure the Am-241(n,gamma) cross section in the thermal region and the first few resonances below 10 eV has been carried out at EAR2 of the n_TOF facility at CERN. Three neutron-insensitive C6D6 detectors have been used to measure the neutron-capture gamma cascade as a function of the neutron time of flight, and then deduce the neutron capture yield. Preliminary results will be presented and compared with previously obtained results at the same facility in EAR1. In EAR1 the gamma-ray background at thermal energies was about 90% of the signal while in EAR2 is up to a 25 factor much more favorable signal to noise ratio. We also extended the low energy limit down to subthermal energies. This measurement will allow a comparison with neutron capture measurements conducted at reactors and using a different experimental technique

    Review and new concepts for neutron-capture measurements of astrophysical interest

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    The idea of slow-neutron capture nucleosynthesis formulated in 1957 triggered a tremendous experimental effort in different laboratories worldwide to measure the relevant nuclear physics input quantities, namely (n, ő≥) cross sections over the stellar temperature range (from few eV up to several hundred keV) for most of the isotopes involved from Fe up to Bi. A brief historical review focused on total energy detectors will be presented to illustrate how advances in instrumentation have led to the assessment of new aspects of s-process nucleosynthesis and to the progressive refinement of stellar models. A summary will be presented on current efforts to develop new detection concepts, such as the Total-Energy Detector with ő≥-ray imaging capability (i-TED). The latter is based on the simultaneous combination of Compton imaging with neutron time-of-flight (TOF) techniques, in order to achieve a superior level of sensitivity and selectivity in the measurement of stellar neutron capture rates.European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (ERC Consolidator Grant project HYMNS) 681740Instituto de Salud Carlos III Spanish Government FPA2014-52823-C2-1-P FPA2017-83946-C2-1-PConsejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) PIE-201750I26Program Severo Ochoa SEV-2014-039
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