A novel experimental approach to characterize neutron fields at high- and low-energy particle accelerators.

Braccini, Saverio; Casolaro, Pierluigi; Dellepiane, Gaia; Mateu, Isidre; Mercolli, Lorenzo; Pola, Andrea; Rastelli, Dario; Scampoli, Paola (2022). A novel experimental approach to characterize neutron fields at high- and low-energy particle accelerators. Scientific reports, 12(1), p. 16886. Springer Nature 10.1038/s41598-022-21113-7

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The characterization of particle accelerator induced neutron fields is challenging but fundamental for research and industrial activities, including radiation protection, neutron metrology, developments of neutron detectors for nuclear and high-energy physics, decommissioning of nuclear facilities, and studies of neutron damage on materials and electronic components. This work reports on the study of a novel approach to the experimental characterization of neutron spectra at two complex accelerator environments, namely the CERF, a high-energy mixed reference field at CERN in Geneva, and the Bern medical cyclotron laboratory, a facility used for multi-disciplinary research activities, and for commercial radioisotope production for nuclear medicine. Measurements were performed through an innovative active neutron spectrometer called DIAMON, a device developed to provide in real time neutron energy spectra without the need of guess distributions. The intercomparison of DIAMON measurements with reference data, Monte Carlo simulations, and with the well-established neutron monitor Berthold LB 6411, has been found to be highly satisfactory in all conditions. It was demonstrated that DIAMON is an almost unique device able to characterize neutron fields induced by hadrons at 120 GeV/c as well as by protons at 18 MeV colliding with different materials. The accurate measurement of neutron spectra at medical cyclotrons during routine radionuclide production for nuclear medicine applications is of paramount importance for the facility decommissioning. The findings of this work are the basis for establishing a methodology for producing controlled proton-induced neutron beams with medical cyclotrons.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Albert Einstein Center for Fundamental Physics (AEC)
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Laboratory for High Energy Physics (LHEP)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Clinic of Nuclear Medicine
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Braccini, Saverio, Casolaro, Pierluigi, Dellepiane, Gaia, Mercolli, Lorenzo, Scampoli, Paola


500 Science > 530 Physics
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Springer Nature




Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

10 Oct 2022 14:21

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 16:26

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