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Enhancing neutron beam production with a convoluted moderator

Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors and Associated Equipment
DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2014.04.047
  • Neutron Moderation
  • Neutron Beam Production
  • Neutron Source
  • Grooved Moderator
  • Mathematics


Abstract We describe a new concept for a neutron moderating assembly resulting in the more efficient production of slow neutron beams. The Convoluted Moderator, a heterogeneous stack of interleaved moderating material and nearly transparent single-crystal spacers, is a directionally enhanced neutron beam source, improving beam emission over an angular range comparable to the range accepted by neutron beam lines and guides. We have demonstrated gains of 50% in slow neutron intensity for a given fast neutron production rate while simultaneously reducing the wavelength-dependent emission time dispersion by 25%, both coming from a geometric effect in which the neutron beam lines view a large surface area of moderating material in a relatively small volume. Additionally, we have confirmed a Bragg-enhancement effect arising from coherent scattering within the single-crystal spacers. We have not observed hypothesized refractive effects leading to additional gains at long wavelength. In addition to confirmation of the validity of the Convoluted Moderator concept, our measurements provide a series of benchmark experiments suitable for developing simulation and analysis techniques for practical optimization and eventual implementation at slow neutron source facilities.

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