Radiopurity measurement of acrylic for the DEAP-3600 dark matter experiment

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Nantais, Corina
poly(methyl methacrylate) , Pb-210
The liquid argon target of the DEAP-3600 dark matter detector is contained by an extremely radiopure acrylic vessel. Alpha decays from the inner surface of the acrylic vessel are a source of background. If a fraction of the alpha energy is observed, or if the recoiling nucleus from the alpha decay is observed, the event will not be separated from a dark matter candidate event. In addition to the low level of inherent contamination from uranium and thorium, the Pb-210 from Rn-222 diffusion during manufacturing must be measured. The limit for the DEAP-3600 acrylic vessel is 1.1 × 10^−20 g/g Pb-210. By vaporizing a large quantity of acrylic and counting the concentrated residue with an ultralow background HPGe well detector and a low background alpha spectrometer, the bulk acrylic was found to have an upper limit of 10^−19 g/g Pb-210. The design, installation, commissioning, operation, and analysis for various aspects of the acrylic assay are described.
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