Spectrométrie de neutrons rapides par bolomètres à cible lithium pour la réduction du fond des expériences de détection directe de matière noire

Abstract : Fast neutron spectrometry is a common interest for both direct dark matter detection and for nuclear research centres. Fast neutrons are usually detected indirectly. Neutrons are first slowed down by moderating materials for being detected in low energy range. Nevertheless, these detection techniques are and are limited in energy resolution. A new kind of fast neutron spectroscopy has been developed at the Institut d'Astrophysique Spaciale (IAS) in the aim of having a better knowledge of neutron backgrounds by the association of the bolometric technique with neutron sensitive crystals containing Li. Lithium-6 is indeed an element which has one the highest cross section for neutron capture with the 6Li(n,)3H reaction. This reaction releases 4,78 MeV tagging energetically each neutron capture. In particular for fast neutrons, the total energy measured by the bolometer would be the sum of this energy reaction and of the incoming fast neutron energy. To validate this principle, a spectrometer for fast neutrons, compact and semi-transportable, was built in IAS. This cryogenic detector, operated at 300 - 400 mK, consists of a 0.5 g LiF 95% 6Li enriched crystal read out by a NTD-Ge sensor. This PhD thesis was on the study of the spectrometer characteristics, from the first measurements at IAS, to the measurements in the nuclear research centre of the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) until the final calibration with the Amande instrument of the Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN).
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Johann Gironnet. Spectrométrie de neutrons rapides par bolomètres à cible lithium pour la réduction du fond des expériences de détection directe de matière noire. Astrophysique [astro-ph]. Université Paris Sud II, 2010. Français. ⟨tel-00633437⟩

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