Radiopurity assessment of the tracking readout for the NEXT double beta decay experiment
Additional Document Info
2015 IOP Publishing Ltd and Sissa Medialab srl. The ''Neutrino Experiment with a Xenon Time-Projection Chamber'' (NEXT) is intended to investigate the neutrinoless double beta decay of 136Xe, which requires a severe suppression of potential backgrounds; therefore, an extensive screening and selection process is underway to control the radiopurity levels of the materials to be used in the experimental set-up of NEXT. The detector design combines the measurement of the topological signature of the event for background discrimination with the energy resolution optimization. Separate energy and tracking readout planes are based on different sensors: photomultiplier tubes for calorimetry and silicon multi-pixel photon counters for tracking. The design of a radiopure tracking plane, in direct contact with the gas detector medium, was specially challenging since the needed components like printed circuit boards, connectors, sensors or capacitors have typically, according to available information in databases and in the literature, activities too large for experiments requiring ultra-low background conditions. Here, the radiopurity assessment of tracking readout components based on gamma-ray spectroscopy using ultra-low background germanium detectors at the Laboratorio Subterr'aneo de Canfranc (Spain) is described. According to the obtained results, radiopure enough printed circuit boards made of kapton and copper, silicon photomultipliers and other required components, fulfilling the requirement of an overall background level in the region of interest of at most 810-4 counts keV-1 kg-1 y-1, have been identified.