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Neutron Activated Duracell Battery (Mn56)

Posted: Tue Nov 03, 2020 9:54 am
by Mark Rowley
More activation fun!
Last evening I irradiated a common Duracell 9V battery. Alkaline batteries typically contain Manganese Dioxide which when activated reveals a photopeak at 850keV. Unlike the earlier manganese activation experiment in August which used 99% pure material, this is not. The oxide within the battery appears to be mixed with an oily substance (possibly an electrolyte or ?). Regardless of the slimy slurry, I was pleased to learn that using lab grade Manganese isn’t required to provide decent results. I see negligible differences when comparing this experiment with last August’s Mn activation numbers.

Distance from grid: 17cm
Approx neutron TIER: 1.7E+6
Exposure time: 7 minutes
Moderator: HDPE

Video of the experiment:
https://youtu.be/OaWT7DGHX50


Shown below is the Duracell spec sheet for the common 9V alkaline battery.

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Picture of the battery in the HDPE moderator:

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Picture of the activated battery in the gamma spec chamber.

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The following two pictures show a nice Mn56 photopeak at 850keV after 2029 seconds in the spectrometer.

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This last picture is of normal spectrometer background with no source in the chamber (empty).

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Counting time was approx 2040 seconds
Empty chamber background counts: ~7399
Source in chamber for the same time: ~11050
Difference: 3651 counts

Mark Rowley