Design and construction of a low-background, internal-source proportional counter
High-purity copper has emerged as a preferred construction material for ultra-low-background HPGe spectrometers and offers excellent bulk radiopurity along with good electrical, thermal, and vacuum properties. Recently, these materials and techniques have been applied to the construction of low-background internal-source gas proportional counters. This work describes the design, construction, and testing of an ultra-low-background internal-source gas proportional counter built primarily of high purity electroformed copper. Energy resolution of ~10% FWHM at 59.5 keV has been achieved, a low-energy threshold of ~3 keV has been reached, and gas gain stability over a 4-week period has been demonstrated. Progress toward low-background operation is described.