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Title: Radon daughter plate-out measurements at SNOLAB for polyethylene and copper

Abstract

We report that polyethylene and copper samples were exposed to the underground air at SNOLAB for approximately three months while several environmental factors were monitored. Predictions of the radon-daughter plate-out rate are compared to the resulting surface activities, obtained from high-sensitivity measurements of alpha emissivity using the XIA UltraLo-1800 spectrometer at Southern Methodist University. From these measurements, we determine an average 210Pb plate-out rate of 249 and 423 atoms/day/cm 2 for polyethylene and copper, respectively, when exposed to radon activity concentration of 135 Bq/m 3 at SNOLAB. Finally, a time-dependent model of alpha activity is discussed for these materials placed in similar environmental conditions.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [1];  [1];  [3];  [4]
  1. Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (United States). Department of Physics
  2. Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
  3. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
  4. SNOLAB, Lively, Ontario (Canada)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
OSTI Identifier:
1413518
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1418151
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-129611; arXiv:1708.09476; FERMILAB-PUB-17-353-AE
Journal ID: ISSN 0168-9002; PII: S0168900217311361; TRN: US1800446
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830; AC02-07CH11359; CAREER - NSF 1151869
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section A, Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 880; Journal ID: ISSN 0168-9002
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; Radon; Plate-out; Dark matter; Backgrounds; Material assay; 79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS

Citation Formats

Stein, Matthew, Bauer, Dan, Bunker, Ray, Calkins, Rob, Cooley, Jodi, Loer, Ben, and Scorza, Silvia. Radon daughter plate-out measurements at SNOLAB for polyethylene and copper. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/j.nima.2017.10.054.
Stein, Matthew, Bauer, Dan, Bunker, Ray, Calkins, Rob, Cooley, Jodi, Loer, Ben, & Scorza, Silvia. Radon daughter plate-out measurements at SNOLAB for polyethylene and copper. United States. doi:10.1016/j.nima.2017.10.054.
Stein, Matthew, Bauer, Dan, Bunker, Ray, Calkins, Rob, Cooley, Jodi, Loer, Ben, and Scorza, Silvia. Sat . "Radon daughter plate-out measurements at SNOLAB for polyethylene and copper". United States. doi:10.1016/j.nima.2017.10.054.
@article{osti_1413518,
title = {Radon daughter plate-out measurements at SNOLAB for polyethylene and copper},
author = {Stein, Matthew and Bauer, Dan and Bunker, Ray and Calkins, Rob and Cooley, Jodi and Loer, Ben and Scorza, Silvia},
abstractNote = {We report that polyethylene and copper samples were exposed to the underground air at SNOLAB for approximately three months while several environmental factors were monitored. Predictions of the radon-daughter plate-out rate are compared to the resulting surface activities, obtained from high-sensitivity measurements of alpha emissivity using the XIA UltraLo-1800 spectrometer at Southern Methodist University. From these measurements, we determine an average 210Pb plate-out rate of 249 and 423 atoms/day/cm2 for polyethylene and copper, respectively, when exposed to radon activity concentration of 135 Bq/m3 at SNOLAB. Finally, a time-dependent model of alpha activity is discussed for these materials placed in similar environmental conditions.},
doi = {10.1016/j.nima.2017.10.054},
journal = {Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section A, Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment},
number = ,
volume = 880,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Nov 04 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Sat Nov 04 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
This content will become publicly available on November 4, 2018
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  • Polyethylene and copper samples were exposed to the underground air at SNOLAB for approximately three months while several environmental factors were monitored. Predictions of the radon-daughter plate-out rate are compared to the resulting surface activities, obtained from high-sensitivity measurements of alpha emissivity using the XIA UltraLo-1800 spectrometer at SMU. From these measurements, we determine an averagemore » $$^{210}$$Pb plate-out rate of 249 and 423~atoms/day/cm$$^{2}$$ for polyethylene and copper, respectively, when exposed to radon activity of 135 Bq/m$$^{3}$$ at SNOLAB. A time-dependent model of alpha activity is discussed for these materials placed in similar environmental conditions.« less
  • The next generation low-background detectors operating deep underground aim for unprecedented low levels of radioactive backgrounds. The surface deposition and subsequent implantation of radon progeny in detector materials will be a source of energetic background events. We investigate Monte Carlo and model-based simulations to understand the surface implantation profile of radon progeny. Depending on the material and region of interest of a rare event search, these partial energy depositions can be problematic. Motivated by the use of Ge crystals for the detection of neutrinoless double-beta decay, we wish to understand the detector response of surface backgrounds from radon progeny. Wemore » look at the simulation of surface decays using a validated implantation distribution based on nuclear recoils and a realistic surface texture. Results of the simulations and measured α spectra are presented.« less
  • The decay of common radioactive gases, such as radon, produces stable isotopes by a sequence of daughter particles with varied half-lives. These daughter particles are a significant source of gamma, neutron, and alpha (α) particle backgrounds that can mimic desired signals in dark matter and neutrinoless double beta decay experiments. In the LUMINA Laboratory at Southern Methodist University (SMU), studies of radon plate-out onto copper samples are conducted using one of XIA’s first five UltraLo 1800 alpha counters. We present results from investigations into various mitigation approaches. A custom-built copper holder (in either plastic or metal) has been designed andmore » produced to maximize the copper’s exposure to {sup 220}Rn. The {sup 220}Rn source is a collection of camping lantern mantles. We present the current status of control and experimental methods for addressing radon exposure levels.« less