Peculiarities of interaction and propagation of low-energy neutrons in nano-dispersed media (the example of diamond nano-powder)

Abstract : The aim of the present study is to develop a quantitative model for the interaction and propagation of low-energy neutrons in nanodispersed media (using the diamond nanopowder as an example), which takes into account the influence of the nanodispersed medium density on the processes of propagation and scattering of low-energy neutrons, and the information about the structure of a diamond nanopowder.The urgency of the problem being solved is due to the lack of information about the completeness of the concepts of the systems under study, about the mechanisms of interaction of low energy neutrons with nanostructured materials, about the features of the properties of the structure of nanodispersed media, about the evolution of nanodispersed systems under the influence of radiation. The development of the proposed quantitative model is necessary for qualitative evaluation and interpretation of various experimental data. The development of a quantitative model and methods for the quantitative calculation of the interaction and propagation of low-energy neutrons in nanodispersed media will allow to interpret independent experimental data within the frames of unified concepts, and will significantly reduce the amount of empirical parameters in the quantitative interpretation of experimental results.The author recommends using the proposed quantitative model and the designed set of computer programs for qualitative and quantitative estimates and interpretation of various experimental results, and for preliminary quantitative calculations at the stage of experiment planning.The thesis consists of an introduction, four chapters, a bibliography and conclusions.The first chapter presents the results of the research into the level of current global technical development of nuclear nanotechnologies. It is noted that at present, the nuclear nanotechnologies are at the stage of fundamental and exploratory academic research, predominantly focused on the extraction and accumulation of new knowledge.The second chapter suggests a model for the propagation of low-energy neutrons in a nanodispersed medium. An expression is obtained for the neutron transfer equation in the diffusion form, i.e. Boltzmann type equation. The boundary conditions are analyzed and established for the neutron transfer equation in the diffusion approximation, accounting for coherent and incoherent processes of neutron interaction with the material. The variational method enables an analytical solution of the transfer equation for the neutron distribution function in the approximation of small angle neutron scattering by nanoparticles in the powder. The experimental data allows to develop a model of diamond nanopowder, which is to be used in calculations.The third chapter describes the design of an algorithm for numerical simulation of neutron transfer in a diamond nanopowder. Model calculations of the cross section for elastic coherent scattering of neutrons by spherical nanoparticles are carried out: 1) precise quantum-mechanical calculations by the phase-function method; 2) calculations in the Born approximation. For reference, we briefly describe standard methods for simulating random values of scattering angles and transformations of coordinate systems in computer Monte Carlo method simulation of neutron propagation in nanopowder.The fourth chapter presents the results of numerical calculations carried out after the suggested quantitative model. The results of numerical calculations are analyzed and compared with experimental data. The comparison shows a satisfactory agreement of calculations with the data of independent experiments.
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Aleksandr Nezvanov. Peculiarities of interaction and propagation of low-energy neutrons in nano-dispersed media (the example of diamond nano-powder). Nuclear Theory [nucl-th]. Université Grenoble Alpes; Université polytechnique de Moscou, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018GREAY069⟩. ⟨tel-02151030⟩

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