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Title: Measurement of ion cascade energies through resolution degradation of alpha particle microcalorimeters

Atomic cascades caused by ions impinging on bulk materials have remained of interest to the scientific community since their discovery by Goldstein in 1902. While considerable effort has been spent describing and, more recently, simulating these cascades, tools that can study individual events are lacking and several aspects of cascade behavior remain poorly known. These aspects include the material energies that determine cascade magnitude and the variation between cascades produced by monoenergetic ions. We have recently developed an alpha particle detector with a thermodynamic resolution near 100 eV full-width-at-half-maximum (FWHM) and an achieved resolution of 1.06 keV FWHM for 5.3 MeV particles. The detector relies on the absorption of particles by a bulk material and a thermal change in a superconducting thermometer. The achieved resolution of this detector provides the highest resolving power of any energy dispersive technique and a factor of 8 improvement over semiconductor detectors. The exquisite resolution can be directly applied to improved measurements of fundamental nuclear decays and nuclear forensics. In addition, we propose that the discrepancy between the thermodynamic and achieved resolution is due to fluctuations in lattice damage caused by ion-induced cascades in the absorber. Hence, this new detector is capable of measuring themore » kinetic energy converted to lattice damage in individual atomic cascades. This capability allows new measurements of cascade dynamics; for example, we find that the ubiquitous modeling program, SRIM, significantly underestimates the lattice damage caused in bulk tin by 5.3 MeV alpha particles.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1] ; ;  [2]
  1. National Institute of Standards and Technology, 325 Broadway MS 817.03, Boulder, Colorado (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21476152
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 107; Journal Issue: 4; Other Information: DOI: 10.1063/1.3309279; (c) 2010 American Institute of Physics
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; 75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; ABSORPTION; ALPHA DETECTION; ALPHA PARTICLES; CALORIMETERS; CALORIMETRY; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; CRYSTAL LATTICES; ENERGY RESOLUTION; FLUCTUATIONS; IONS; KEV RANGE; KINETIC ENERGY; MEV RANGE; PHYSICAL RADIATION EFFECTS; SEMICONDUCTOR DETECTORS; SUPERCONDUCTING DEVICES; TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENT CHARGED PARTICLE DETECTION; CHARGED PARTICLES; CRYSTAL STRUCTURE; DETECTION; ENERGY; ENERGY RANGE; IONIZING RADIATIONS; MEASURING INSTRUMENTS; RADIATION DETECTION; RADIATION DETECTORS; RADIATION EFFECTS; RADIATIONS; RESOLUTION; SIMULATION; SORPTION; VARIATIONS