Neutron Activated Duracell Battery (Mn56)

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Mark Rowley
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Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2002 5:20 am
Real name: Mark Rowley
Location: Sacramento California

Neutron Activated Duracell Battery (Mn56)

Post by Mark Rowley » Tue Nov 03, 2020 9:54 am

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:

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


Picture of the battery in the HDPE moderator:


Picture of the activated battery in the gamma spec chamber.


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


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


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

Mark Rowley

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