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Device for Indirect Capture Experiments on Radionuclides (DICER)

An instrument for making resonance neutron transmission measurements on very small radioactive samples to tightly constrain their neutron-capture cross sections.


  • thumbnail of Paul Koehler
  • Instrument Scientist
  • Paul Koehler
  • (505) 606-0743
  • Email
  • Instrument Assistant
  • Athanasios Stamatopoulos
  • (505) 665-3114
  • Email

Instrument Specifications

DICER is being developed to measure neutron total cross sections in the resonance region on very small radioactive samples as an indirect means to tightly constrain their neutron-capture cross sections. Starting in October 2019 development will be accelerated through Laboratory Directed Research and Development Directed Research funding for three years. The main goals are to make proof-of-principle measurements on 88Zr and 88Y. As of July 2019, measurements are feasible on samples as small as 1 mm in diameter and source-to-detector flight path lengths of 65, 30, and 15 m (with samples at roughly ½ these distances) are available. Also, a filter box to facilitate background and other measurements has very recently been installed and soon will be tested. Current measurements employ a 6Li-glass scintillator detector, and CLYC and plastic scintillator detectors are also available. Planned improvements include a sample collimator/changer/shield for radioactive samples as small as 0.1 mm in diameter and with activities as high as several Curies, and upgraded monitor and main neutron detectors.


Cutaway drawing of the planned upgraded main DICER apparatus.