Improved STEREO simulation with a new gamma ray spectrum of excited gadolinium isotopes using FIFRELIN


The STEREO experiment measures the electron antineutrino spectrum emitted in a research reactor using the inverse beta decay reaction on H nuclei in a gadolinium loaded liquid scintillator. The detection is based on a signal coincidence of a prompt positron and a delayed neutron capture event. The simulated response of the neutron capture on gadolinium is crucial for the comparison with data, in particular in the case of the detection efficiency. Among all stable isotopes, 155Gd and 157Gd have the highest cross sections for thermal neutron capture. The excited nuclei after the neutron capture emit gamma rays with a total energy of about 8MeV. The complex level schemes of 156Gd and 158Gd are a challenge for the modeling and prediction of the deexcitation spectrum, especially for compact detectors where gamma rays can escape the active volume. With a new description of the Gd (n,\( \gamma\)) cascades obtained using the FIFRELIN code, the agreement between simulation and measurements with a neutron calibration source was significantly improved in the STEREO experiment. A database of ten millions of deexcitation cascades for each isotope has been generated and is now available for the user.


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Open Access funding provided by Max Planck Society.

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Correspondence to A. Bonhomme.

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Data Availability Statement

This manuscript has associated data in a data repository. [Authors’ comment: We make available ten millions of deexcitation cascades for each isotope at, since other running and upcoming projects might profit from these data as well.]

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Communicated by C. Broggini

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Almazán, H., Bernard, L., Blanchet, A. et al. Improved STEREO simulation with a new gamma ray spectrum of excited gadolinium isotopes using FIFRELIN. Eur. Phys. J. A 55, 183 (2019).

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