Mitigation of backgrounds from cosmogenic 137Xe in xenon gas experiments using 3He neutron capture

Next Collaboration The Next Collaboration, L. Rogers, B. J.P. Jones, A. Laing, S. Pingulkar, B. Smithers, K. Woodruff, C. Adams, V. Lvarez, L. Arazi, I. J. Arnquist, C. D.R. Azevedo, K. Bailey, F. Ballester, J. M. Benlloch-Rodríguez, F. I.G.M. Borges, N. Byrnes, S. Cárcel, J. V. Carrión, S. CebriánE. Church, C. A.N. Conde, T. Contreras, G. Díaz, J. Díaz, M. Diesburg, R. Dingler, J. Escada, R. Esteve, R. Felkai, A. F.M. Fernandes, L. M.P. Fernandes, P. Ferrario, A. L. Ferreira, E. D.C. Freitas, J. Generowicz, S. Ghosh, A. Goldschmidt, J. J. Gómez-Cadenas, D. González-Díaz, R. Guenette, R. M. Gutiérrez, J. Haefner, K. Hafidi, J. Hauptman, C. A.O. Henriques, J. A.Hernando Morata, P. Herrero, V. Herrero, Y. Ifergan, S. Johnston, M. Kekic, L. Labarga, P. Lebrun, N. López-March, M. Losada, R. D.P. Mano, J. Martín-Albo, A. Martínez, G. Martínez-Lema, A. D. McDonald, F. Monrabal, C. M.B. Monteiro, F. J. Mora, J. Muñoz Vidal, P. Novella, D. R. Nygren, B. Palmeiro, A. Para, J. Pérez, M. Querol, A. B. Redwine, J. Renner, J. Repond, S. Riordan, L. Ripoll, Y. Rodríguez García, J. Rodríguez, B. Romeo, C. Romo-Luque, F. P. Santos, J. M.F. Dos Santos, A. Simón, C. Sofka, M. Sorel, T. Stiegler, J. F. Toledo, J. Torrent, A. Usón, J. F.C.A. Veloso, R. Webb, R. Weiss-Babai, J. T. White, N. Yahlali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


136Xe is used as the target medium for many experiments searching for 0νββ. Despite underground operation, cosmic muons that reach the laboratory can produce spallation neutrons causing activation of detector materials. A potential background that is difficult to veto using muon tagging comes in the form of 137Xe created by the capture of neutrons on 136Xe. This isotope decays via beta decay with a half-life of 3.8 min and a Q β of ∼4.16 MeV. This work proposes and explores the concept of adding a small percentage of 3He to xenon as a means to capture thermal neutrons and reduce the number of activations in the detector volume. When using this technique we find the contamination from 137Xe activation can be reduced to negligible levels in tonne and multi-tonne scale high pressure gas xenon neutrinoless double beta decay experiments running at any depth in an underground laboratory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number075001
JournalJournal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 25 2020


  • gas and liquid scintillators
  • gaseous detectors
  • scintillation and light emission processes
  • scintillators
  • solid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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