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A Neutron Resonance Capture Analysis Experimental Station at the ISIS Spallation Source

Volume 64, Number 9 (Sept. 2010) Page 1068-1071

Pietropaolo, Antonino; Gorini, Giuseppe; Festa, Giulia; Reali, Enzo; Grazzi, Francesco; Schooneveld, Erik M.

Neutron resonance capture analysis (NRCA) is a nuclear technique that is used to determine the elemental composition of materials and artifacts (e.g., bronze objects) of archaeological interest. NRCA experiments are mostly performed at the GELINA facility in Belgium, a pulsed neutron source operating with an electron linear accelerator. Very intense fluxes of epithermal neutrons are also provided by spallation neutron sources, such as the ISIS spallation neutron source in the United Kingdom. In the present study, the suitability of the Italian Neutron Experimental Station (INES) beam line for NRCA measurements is assessed using a compact (n, γ) resonance detector made of a Yttrium-Aluminum-Perovskite (YAP) scintillation crystal coupled with a silicon photomultiplier (SiPM) readout. The measurements provided a qualitative recognition of the composition of the standard sample, a lower limit for the sensitivity for NRCA for almost-in-traces elements, and an estimation of the relative isotopic concentration in the sample.