Experimental tests of an advanced proton-to-neutron converter at ISOLDE-CERN
The suppression of isobaric contaminations is of growing importance for many scientific programs using radioactive isotopes produced at isotope separation on-line (ISOL) facilities, such as ISOLDE-CERN. A solid tungsten proton-to-neutron converter has been used for ten years to produce neutron-rich fission fragments from an UCx target while suppressing the production of neutron-deficient isobaric contaminants. The remaining contamination is mainly produced by primary protons that are scattered by the heavy neutron converter and finally impinge on the UCx target itself. Therefore, the knowledge of the energy-dependant cross-sections of proton and neutron induced fission events is crucial in order to evaluate future converter concepts. In this paper, an improved neutron converter prototype design is presented together with the experimentally assessed radioisotope production of Rb, Zn, Cu, Ga and In that validate the converter concept aiming at beams of higher purity neutron-rich isotopes. The experimentally derived release efficiencies for isotopes produced by the 1.4 GeV protons available at ISOLDE are used to evaluate the Monte Carlo code FLUKA and the cross-section codes TALYS and ABRABLA, respectively. (C) 2014 Published by Elsevier B.V.