Radiogenic neutron yield calculations for low-background experiments

S. Westerdale, P. D. Meyers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Nuclear recoil backgrounds are one of the most dangerous backgrounds for many dark matter experiments. A primary source of nuclear recoils is radiogenic neutrons produced in the detector material itself. These neutrons result from fission and (α,n) reactions originating from uranium and thorium contamination. In this paper, we discuss neutron yields from these sources. We compile a list of (α,n) yields for many materials common in low-background detectors, calculated using NeuCBOT (Neutron Calculator Based On TALYS), a new tool introduced in this paper, available at These calculations are compared to computations made using data compilations and SOURCES-4C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-64
Number of pages8
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
StatePublished - Dec 11 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


  • (α,n) yields
  • Dark matter
  • NeuCBOT
  • Neutron backgrounds


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