Barbara Wang
(Department of Nuclear Engineering, UCB)

Cosmogenic-neutron activation of TeO2 and implications for the CUORE neutrinoless double-beta decay experiment

Flux-averaged cross sections for cosmogenic-neutron activation of natural tellurium were measured using a neutron beam containing neutrons of kinetic energies up to ~800 MeV, and having an energy spectrum similar to that of cosmic-ray neutrons at sea-level. Analysis of the radioisotopes produced reveals that 110mAg will be a dominant contributor to the cosmogenic-activation background in experiments searching for neutrinoless double-beta decay of 130Te, such as CUORE and SNO+. An estimate of the background in CUORE from cosmogenic-activation of tellurium has been obtained using the results of this measurement and cross-section measurements of proton activation of tellurium. Additionally, the measured cross sections discussed in this talk are also compared with results from semi-empirical cross-section calculations.