Regular Article - Experimental Physics
Radon daughter removal from PTFE surfaces and its application in liquid xenon detectors
Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, Heidelberg, 69117, Heidelberg, Germany
2 Nikhef, Amsterdam, 1089XG, Amsterdam, Netherlands
3 CEA/Saclay, IRFU (Institut de Recherche sur les Lois Fondamentales de l’Univers), 91191, Gif-sur-Yvette CEDEX, France
4 Donostia International Physics Center, 20018, Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain
Accepted: 10 March 2021
Published online: 21 April 2021
Long-lived radon daughters are a critical background source in experiments searching for low-energy rare events. Originating from radon in ambient air, radioactive polonium, bismuth and lead isotopes plate-out on materials that are later employed in the experiment. In this paper, we examine cleaning procedures for their capability to remove radon daughters from PTFE surfaces, a material often used in liquid xenon TPCs. We find a large difference between the removal efficiency obtained for the decay chains of Rn and Rn. This indicates that the plate-out mechanism has an effect on the cleaning success. While the long-lived Rn daughters can be reduced by a factor of 2, the removal of Rn daughters is up to 10 times more efficient depending on the treatment. Furthermore, the impact of a nitric acid based PTFE cleaning on the liquid xenon purity is investigated in a small-scale liquid xenon TPC.
© The Author(s) 2021
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