Mitigation of backgrounds from cosmogenic Xe-137 in xenon gas experiments using He-3 neutron capture

L. Rogers, B. J. P. Jones, L. Arazi, S. Ghosh, R. M. Gutierrez, Gonzalo Martinez Lema, Next Collaboration The Next Collaboration, A. Laing, S. Pingulkar, B. Smithers, K. Woodruff, C. Adams, V. Lvarez, I. J. Arnquist, C. D.R. Azevedo, K. Bailey, F. Ballester, J. M. Benlloch-Rodríguez, N. Byrnes, S. CárcelJ. V. Carrión, S. Cebrián, E. Church, C. A.N. Conde, T. Contreras, G. Díaz, J. Díaz, M. Diesburg, R. Dingler, J. Escada, R. Esteve, R. Felkai, L. M.P. Fernandes, P. Ferrario, A. L. Ferreira, E. D.C. Freitas, A. Goldschmidt, J. J. Gómez-Cadenas, D. González-Díaz, R. Guenette, J. Haefner, K. Hafidi, J. Hauptman, C. A.O. Henriques, J. A.Hernando Morata, P. Herrero, V. Herrero, Y. Ifergan, S. Johnston, M. Kekic, L. Labarga, P. Lebrun, N. López-March, M. Losada, R. D.P. Mano, J. Martín-Albo, A. Martínez, A. D. McDonald, F. Monrabal, C. M.B. Monteiro, F. J. Mora, J. Muñoz Vidal, P. Novella, D. R. Nygren, B. Palmeiro, A. Para, J. Pérez, M. Querol, A. B. Redwine, J. Renner, J. Repond, L. Ripoll, Y. Rodríguez García, J. Rodríguez, B. Romeo, C. Romo-Luque, F. P. Santos, J. M.F. Dos Santos, A. Simón, C. Sofka, M. Sorel, T. Stiegler, J. F. Toledo, J. Torrent, A. Usón, J. F.C.A. Veloso, R. Webb, R. Weiss-Babai, J. T. White, N. Yahlali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Xe-136 is used as the target medium for many experiments searching for 0 nu beta beta. Despite underground operation, cosmic muons that reach the laboratory can produce spallation neutrons causing activation of detector materials. A potential background that is difficult to veto using muon tagging comes in the form of Xe-137 created by the capture of neutrons on Xe-136. This isotope decays via beta decay with a half-life of 3.8 min and a Q(beta) of similar to 4.16 MeV. This work proposes and explores the concept of adding a small percentage of He-3 to xenon as a means to capture thermal neutrons and reduce the number of activations in the detector volume. When using this technique we find the contamination from Xe-137 activation can be reduced to negligible levels in tonne and multi-tonne scale high pressure gas xenon neutrinoless double beta decay experiments running at any depth in an underground laboratory.

Original languageEnglish
Article number075001
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics
Issue number7
Early online date25 May 2020
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • gas and liquid scintillators
  • gaseous detectors
  • scintillation and light emission processes
  • scintillators
  • solid

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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