Characterization of the LUNA neutron detector array for the measurement of the 13C(α,n)16O reaction

L. Csedreki, G F Ciani, J Balibrea-Correa, A Best, M. Aliotta, F Barile, D Bemmerer, A Boeltzig, C Broggini, C. G. Bruno, A Caciolli, F Cavanna, T Chillery, P Colombetti, P Corvisiero, T. Davinson, R Depalo, A Di Leva, Z Elekes, F FerraroE M Fiore, A Formicola, Zs Fulop, G Gervino, A Guglielmetti, C Gustavino, Gy Gyurky, G Imbriani, Z Janas, M Junker, I Kochanek, M Lugaro, P Marigo, E Masha, C Mazzocchi, R Menegazzo, V Mossa, F R Pantaleo, V Paticchio, R Perrino, D Piatti, P Prati, L Schiavulli, K Stockel, O Straniero, T Szucs, M P Takacs, F Terrasi, S Zavatarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We introduce the LUNA neutron detector array developed for the investigation of the 13C(α,n)16O reaction towards its astrophysical -process Gamow peak in the low-background environment of the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS). Eighteen 3He counters are arranged in two different configurations (in a vertical and a horizontal orientation) to optimize neutron detection efficiency, target handling and target cooling over the investigated energy range E keV (E in emitted neutron energy). As a result of the deep underground location, the passive shielding of the setup and active background suppression using pulse shape discrimination, we reached a total background rate of counts/hour. This resulted in an improvement of two orders of magnitude over the state of the art allowing a direct measurement of the 13C(α,n)16O cross-section down to E keV. The absolute neutron detection efficiency of the setup was determined using the 51V(p,n)51Cr reaction and an AmBe radioactive source, and completed with a Geant4 simulation. We determined a (34 ± 3) % and (38 ± 3) % detection efficiency for the vertical and horizontal configurations, respectively, for En=2.4 MeV neutrons.
Original languageEnglish
Article number165081
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Early online date27 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


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