Compact ultracold neutron source concept for low-energy accelerator-driven neutron sources

Yun Chang Shin, W. Michael Snow, David V. Baxter, Chen Yu Liu, Dongok Kim, Younggeun Kim, Yannis K. Semertzidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The concept of a small-scale, pulsed-proton accelerator-based compact ultracold neutron (UCN) source is presented. The essential idea of the compact UCN source is to enclose a volume of superfluid 4He converter with a supercold moderator in the vicinity of a low-radiation neutron production target from (p, n) reactions. The supercold moderator should possess an ability to produce cold neutron flux with a peak brightness near the single-phonon excitation band of the superfluid 4He converter, thereby augmenting the UCN production in the compact UCN source even with very low intensity of neutron brightness. The performance of the compact UCN source is studied in terms of the UCN production and thermal load in the UCN converter. With the proposed concept of the compact UCN source, a UCN production rate of PUCN=80UCN/cm3/s in the UCN converter could be obtained while maintaining thermal load of the superfluid 4He and its container at a level of 22mW. This study shows that the compact UCN source can produce a high enough density of UCNs at a small-scale, low-energy, pulsed-proton beam facility with reduced efforts on the cooling and radiation protection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number882
JournalEuropean Physical Journal Plus
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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