The spherical acrylic vessel that contains the liquid argon target is the most critical detector component in the DEAP-3600 dark matter experiment. Alpha decays near the inner surface of the acrylic vessel are one of the main sources of background in the detector. A fraction of the alpha energy, or the recoiling nucleus from the alpha decay, could misreconstruct in the fiducial volume and result in a false candidate dark matter event. Acrylic has low levels of inherent contamination from 238U and 232Th. Another background of particular concern is diffusion of 222Rn during manufacturing, leading to 210Pb contamination. The maximum acceptable concentrations in the DEAP-3600 acrylic vessel are ppt levels of 238U and 232Th equivalent, and 10-8 ppt 210Pb. The impurities in the bulk acrylic will be measured by vaporizing a large quantity of acrylic and counting the concentrated residue with ultra-low background HPGe detectors and a low background alpha spectrometer. An overview of the acrylic assay technique is presented.

Additional Metadata
Keywords 210Pb, 210Po, 232Th, 238U, assay, gamma assay, low background, poly(methyl methacrylate), ultra trace level
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4818105
Conference 4th International Workshop in Low Radioactivity Techniques 2013, LRT 2013
Citation
Nantais, C.M. (C. M.), Cleveland, B.T. (B. T.), & Boulay, M.G. (2013). Radiopurity measurement of acrylic for DEAP-3600. In AIP Conference Proceedings (pp. 185–188). doi:10.1063/1.4818105