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Title: Simulation of background from low-level tritium and radon emanation in the KATRIN spectrometers

The KArlsruhe TRItium Neutrino (KATRIN) experiment is a large-scale experiment for the model independent determination of the mass of electron anti-neutrinos with a sensitivity of 200 meV/c{sup 2}. It investigates the kinematics of electrons from tritium beta decay close to the endpoint of the energy spectrum at 18.6 keV. To achieve a good signal to background ratio at the endpoint, a low background rate below 10{sup −2} counts per second is required. The KATRIN setup thus consists of a high luminosity windowless gaseous tritium source (WGTS), a magnetic electron transport system with differential and cryogenic pumping for tritium retention, and electro-static retarding spectrometers (pre-spectrometer and main spectrometer) for energy analysis, followed by a segmented detector system for counting transmitted beta-electrons. A major source of background comes from magnetically trapped electrons in the main spectrometer (vacuum vessel: 1240 m{sup 3}, 10{sup −11} mbar) produced by nuclear decays in the magnetic flux tube of the spectrometer. Major contributions are expected from short-lived radon isotopes and tritium. Primary electrons, originating from these decays, can be trapped for hours, until having lost almost all their energy through inelastic scattering on residual gas particles. Depending on the initial energy of the primary electron, up tomore » hundreds of low energetic secondary electrons can be produced. Leaving the spectrometer, these electrons will contribute to the background rate. This contribution describes results from simulations for the various background sources. Decays of {sup 219}Rn, emanating from the main vacuum pump, and tritium from the WGTS that reaches the spectrometers are expected to account for most of the background. As a result of the radon alpha decay, electrons are emitted through various processes, such as shake-off, internal conversion and the Auger deexcitations. The corresponding simulations were done using the KASSIOPEIA framework, which has been developed for the KATRIN experiment for low-energy electron tracking, field calculation and detector simulation. The results of the simulations have been used to optimize the design parameters of the vacuum system with regard to radon emanation and tritium pumping, in order to reach the stringent requirements of the neutrino mass measurement.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;
  1. Institute for Nuclear Physics (IKP), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), 76021 Karlsruhe (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22218191
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Conference Proceedings; Journal Volume: 1549; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: LRT 2013: 4. international workshop on low radioactivity techniques, Assergi (Italy), 10-12 Apr 2013; Other Information: (c) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; 73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; ALPHA DECAY; BETA DECAY; DE-EXCITATION; DESIGN; ELECTRON SPECTROMETERS; ENERGY SPECTRA; INELASTIC SCATTERING; INTERNAL CONVERSION; MAGNETIC FLUX; MILLI EV RANGE; MULTIPARTICLE SPECTROMETERS; NEUTRINO DETECTION; NEUTRINOS; PARTICLE IDENTIFICATION; RADON 219; REST MASS; SENSITIVITY; TRAPPED ELECTRONS; TRITIUM; VACUUM SYSTEMS