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Title: Reduction of Radioactive Backgrounds in Electroformed Copper for Ultra-Sensitive Radiation Detectors

Abstract Ultra-pure construction materials are required for the next generation of neutrino physics, dark matter and environmental science applications. These new efforts require materials with purity levels at or below 1 uBq/kg 232Th and 238U. Yet radiometric analysis lacks sensitivity below ~10 uBq/kg for the U and Th decay chains. This limits both the selection of clean materials and the validation of purification processes. Copper is an important high-purity material for low-background experiments due to the ease with which it can be purified by electrochemical methods. Electroplating for purification into near-final shapes, known as electroforming, is one such method. Continued refinement of the copper electroforming process is underway, for the first time guided by an ICP-MS based assay method that can measure 232Th and 238U near the desired purity levels. An assay of electroformed copper at 10 uBq/kg for 232Th has been achieved and is described. The implications of electroformed copper at or better than this purity on next-generation low-background experiments are discussed.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
  2. Reeves and Son LLC., Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0168-9002; 830403000
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section A, Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment; Journal Volume: 764
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; COPPER; ELECTRODEPOSITION; THORIUM; URANIUM low background; copper; electroforming; thorium; uranium; ICP-MS