Very cold and ultra cold neutron sources for ESS

L. Zanini*, E. Dian, D.D. DiJulio, B. Folsom, E.B. Klinkby, Z. Kokai, J.I. Marquez Damian, B. Rataj, N. Rizzi, V. Santoro, M. Strothmann, A. Takibayev, R. Wagner, O. Zimmer

*Corresponding author for this work

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The goal of the “Workshop on Very Cold and Ultra Cold Neutron Sources for ESS” was to discuss scientific cases, ideas and possibilities for the implementation of sources of Very Cold and Ultra Cold neutrons at the European Spallation Source. The ESS facility, presently under construction, offers several possibilities for in-pile UCN or VCN sources, in primis thanks to the available space below the spallation target where additional neutron sources can be placed to complement those above the target. Neutron beams can be extracted over a wide angular range with a grid of forty-two beamports with 6° average angular separation, allowing future instruments to be installed which may view either the upper or lower moderator systems. Of greatest interest for fundamental physics is the so-called Large Beamport foreseen for the NNBAR experiment. This beamport is also particularly well suited to feed a UCN source, for which several ideas were presented that employ either superfluid helium or solid deuterium as established neutron converter materials. Concepts for VCN sources make use of novel materials for VCN production and/or advanced reflectors to increase yields in the coldest part of the neutron spectrum from a cryogenic neutron source. In this paper we discuss these ideas and the possible locations of UCN and VCN sources at ESS.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Neutron Research
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)77-93
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Neutron sources
  • Ultra cold neutrons
  • Very cold neutrons


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