Measurement of very small hydrogen content in zirconium alloys by measuring thermal neutron incoherent scattering
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- Choi, Y., Oh, H., Em, V. et al. Appl Phys A (2002) 74(Suppl 1): s1710. doi:10.1007/s003390201748
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In neutron-scattering experiments, the incoherent scattering contributes to the background signal, which is an unwelcome property of matter. Among natural nuclei, the hydrogen nucleus (proton) has a remarkably large value of incoherent neutron scattering cross section. Therefore, a very small amount of hydrogen in a material could be analyzed by measuring the neutron incoherent scattering of the material. The hydrogen content of a metal or semiconductor is a matter of concern because it can affect significantly the physical, mechanical or chemical properties of materials although the amount of hydrogen is very small. In this study, the neutron incoherent scattering was measured using a 1-D position-sensitive detector at 1.835 Å. Estimated detection limits are about 5 and 2 μg/g for 10-min and 1-h measurements, respectively. Using the calibration data obtained by measurement of artificial samples (zircaloy+polypropylene films), the relative amounts of hydrogen in three commercial zircaloy samples were estimated and compared with the result of chemical analysis.