A novel, low-cost, position-sensitive neutron detector to support Thick-Target Inverse Kinematics experiments for nuclear data measurements

SMITH, Robin, STOWELL, J.P., BARKER, D. and THOMPSON, L.F. (2023). A novel, low-cost, position-sensitive neutron detector to support Thick-Target Inverse Kinematics experiments for nuclear data measurements. Universe, 9 (6): 274.

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Official URL: https://www.mdpi.com/2218-1997/9/6/274
Open Access URL: https://www.mdpi.com/2218-1997/9/6/274/pdf?version... (Published version)
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.3390/universe9060274


High quality nuclear data lie at the heart of accurately modelling stellar systems and terrestrial nuclear reactors. However, some key reaction cross sections have large uncertainties, which limit such models in predicting isotopic abundances and other aspects of stellar evolution, along with key operational parameters for nuclear reactors. Reactions involving neutrons are particularly difficult to measure experimentally in laboratories, not least due to the unique challenges involved when detecting neutrons. We present a new approach to measuring nuclear reactions involving neutrons by exploiting the Thick-Target Inverse Kinematics (TTIK) approach. For such measurements, a new detector called ATTIKUS (A Thick-Target Inverse Kinematics detector by Universities in Sheffield) is under construction. Here we present designs and Geant4 Monte-Carlo simulations of the detector. The simulations indicate that a neutron position reconstruction resolution of 10 cm is obtainable and demonstrate how this device could be applied to the 13C(α,n) reaction, which is considered to be the main neutron source for the s-process in low-mass Asymptotic Giant Branch stars. In the TTIK method, the emission position of the neutron (the nuclear interaction position in a gaseous target) is directly linked to the centre-of-mass energy of the reaction. Therefore, a position resolution will translate into an energy resolution, depending on the beam-target combination. The inverse reaction, 16O(n,α), causes a large uncertainty in calculating the effective neutron multiplication factor, Keff in nuclear reactors, so improvements are required here.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.3390/universe9060274
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2023 11:11
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 14:16
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/31647

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