Compton imaging for enhanced sensitivity (n,γ) cross section TOF experiments: Status and prospects

Abstract

Radiative neutron-capture cross sections are of pivotal importance in many fields such as nucle-osynthesis studies or innovative reactor technologies. A large number of isotopes have been measured with high accuracy, but there are still a large number of relevant isotopes whose cross sections could not be experimentally determined yet, at least with sufficient accuracy and completeness, owing to limitations in detection techniques, sample production methods or in the facilities themselves. In the context of the HYMNS (High-sensitivitY Measurements of key stellar Nucleo-Synthesis reactions) project over the last six years we have developed a novel detection technique aimed at background suppression in radiative neutron-capture time-of-flight measurements. This new technique utilizes a complex detection set-up based on position-sensitive radiation-detectors deployed in a Compton-camera array configuration. The latter enables to implement gamma-ray imaging techniques, which help to disentangle true capture events arising from the sample under study and contaminant background events from the surroundings. A summary on the main developments is given in this contribution together with an update on recent experiments at CERN n_TOF and an outlook on future steps

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