Study of scandium targets for production of monoenergetic neutron fields with energies below 100 keV
In order to develop reference low-energy monoenergetic neutron fields, the 45Sc(p,n) reaction is being studied within the framework of a scientific cooperation between NPL, PTB, IRMM and IRSN. The first study is dedicated to the selection of the most suitable backing material for scandium targets. It must be able to sustain high proton beam currents to compensate for the low cross section of the 45Sc(p,n) reaction. Targets with backings made of Mo, Al,W, Ag, Pt and Ta were irradiated during several hours at a few tens of mA at the NPL neutron reference facility. Target thickness and composition were analysed with the RBS method at the AIFIRA facility before and after NPL irradiations leading to the selection of tantalum as the best choice for backing material.