A Liquid-Lithium Target project for production of high-intensity quasi-stellar neutrons

Gitai Feinberg, Alexander Arenshtam, Dan Berkovits, Yosef Eisen, Shlomi Halfon, Dany Kijel, Ami Nagler, Asher Shor, Ido Silverman, Michael Paul, Moshe Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


A windowless Liquid-Lithium Target (LiLiT) is under construction and development at Soreq NRC (Israel). The target is designed to be bombarded by a 2-4 mA proton beam (Ep= 1.8-2.5 MeV) from the high-intensity Soreq Applied Research Accelerator Facility (SARAF), a superconducting linear accelerator for light ions. The liquid-lithium forced flow at a velocity of ∼20 m/s and a thickness of ∼1.8 mm serves both as a power dump (10 kW) for the proton beam and as a neutron-producing target via the 7Li(p,n)7Be reaction. As known from the work of the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe group, the energy distribution of neutrons emitted for a proton energy Ep= 1.912 MeV, ∼30 keV above the reaction threshold, and a thick Li target is very similar to that of a Maxwell-Boltzmann flux at a thermal energy of ∼25 keV, well suited for activation measurements relevant to s-process nucleosynthesis. The neutron intensity expected under these conditions from the combination of the SARAF proton beam and the LiLiT thermal properties is of ∼2×1010 s-1 mA-and is larger by more than one order of magnitude than currently available. The LiLiT setup is built as a loop circulating liquid lithium at a temperature of ∼200°C and producing a jet (acting as the target) onto a thin concave supporting wall, driven by a rotating magnet inductive electromagnetic pump. The liquid lithium is collected in a reservoir housing a heat exchanger with a mineral-oil closed loop. Circulation and thermal tests of the loop are presently in progress in an offline dedicated electron-gun laboratory and online installation at the SARAF accelerator is planned for end 2010. Characterization of the SARAF proton beam (beam energy, energy width and transverse profile) and of the neutron spectrum obtained under these conditions are studied in parallel using a solid-lithium (lithium fluoride) target at low beam intensities. The SARAF-LiLiT system will be used to measure stellar neutron capture cross sections for stable or radioactive targets demanding high neutron fluxes. Present status and plans are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalProceedings of Science
StatePublished - 2010
Event11th Symposium on Nuclei in the Cosmos, NIC 2010 - Heidelberg, Germany
Duration: 19 Jul 201023 Jul 2010


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