Ultracold neutron detectors based on 10B converters used in the qBounce experiments

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Gravity experiments with very slow, so-called ultracold neutrons connect quantum mechanics with tests of Newton's inverse square law at short distances. These experiments face a low count rate and hence need highly optimized detector concepts. In the frame of this paper, we present low-background ultracold neutron counters and track detectors with micron resolution based on a 10B converter. We discuss the optimization of 10B converter layers, detector design and concepts for read-out electronics focusing on high-efficiency and low-background. We describe modifications of the counters that allow one to detect ultracold neutrons selectively on their spin-orientation. This is required for searches of hypothetical forces with spin-mass couplings. The mentioned experiments utilize a beam-monitoring concept which accounts for variations in the neutron flux that are typical for nuclear research facilities. The converter can also be used for detectors, which feature high efficiencies paired with high spatial resolution of 1-2μm. They allow one to resolve the quantum mechanical wave function of an ultracold neutron bound in the gravity potential above a neutron mirror. © 2013 The Authors.




Jenke, T., Cronenberg, G., Filter, H., Geltenbort, P., Klein, M., Lauer, T., … Abele, H. (2013). Ultracold neutron detectors based on 10B converters used in the qBounce experiments. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, 732, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nima.2013.06.024

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