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Determination of cross sections for the production of low-energy monoenergetic neutron fields

Abstract : The response of a neutron detector, defined as the reading of the device per unit of incident fluence or dose, varies with neutron energy. The experimental determination of this variation, i.e. of the response function of this instrument, has to be performed by facilities producing monoenergetic neutron fields. These neutrons are commonly produced by interaction between accelerated ions (proton or deuteron) onto a thin target composed of a reactive layer deposited on a metallic backing. Using the 7Li(p,n), 3H(p,n), 2H(d,n) and 3H(d,n) reactions, monoenergetic neutrons are obtained between 120 keV and 20 MeV in the ion beam direction (0°).To reach lower neutron energies, the angle of the measuring point with respect to the ion beam direction can be increased. However, this method presents several problems of neutron energy and fluence homogeneities over the detector surface, as well as an important increase of the scattered neutron contribution. Another solution is to investigate other nuclear reactions, as 45Sc(p,n) allowing to extend the neutron energy range down to 8 keV at 0°.A complete study of this reaction and its cross section has been undertaken within the framework of a scientific cooperation between the laboratory of neutron metrology and dosimetry (IRSN, France), two European national metrological institutes, the National Physical Laboratory (UK) and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (Germany), and IRMM, the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (EC).In parallel, other possible reactions have been investigated: 65Cu(p,n), 51V(p,n), 57Fe(p,n), 49Ti(p,n), 53Cr(p,n) and 37Cl(p,n). They were compared in terms of neutron fluence and minimum energy of the produced neutrons.
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Vincent Lamirand. Determination of cross sections for the production of low-energy monoenergetic neutron fields. Other [cond-mat.other]. Université de Grenoble, 2011. English. ⟨NNT : 2011GRENY082⟩. ⟨tel-00683170⟩

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