Magnetron-sputtered Be coatings as reflectors for ultracold neutrons

T. Bryś, M. Daum, P. Fierlinger, A. Fomin, P. Geltenbort, R. Henneck, K. Kirch, A. Kharitonov, I. Krasnoshekova, M. Kuźniak, M. Lasakov, A. Pichlmaier, F. Raimondi, R. Schelldorfer, A. Serebrov, E. Siber, R. Tal'daev, V. Varlamov, A. Vasiliev, J. WambachO. Zherebtsov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We describe the production, characterization and performance of magnetron-sputtered Be coatings on aluminum, copper and stainless steel substrates. The coating thickness is typically 300 nm. Small samples were characterized by means of Optical Microscopy (OM), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and X-ray induced Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and Elastic Recoil Detection Analysis (ERDA). The coating quality and adhesion following thermal cycling and neutron irradiation were tested with respect to future applications as storage containers in Ultracold Neutron (UCN) sources. The fractional uncoated area was determined to be 10-4 to 10-5 by OM and XPS. These results were confirmed by foil transmission measurements with UCN in the energy range 180 to 230 neV. The storage time of a 250 l Be-coated Cu container was determined for UCN energies up to 60 neV at room temperature and around 90 K and the wall loss factor η extracted. We obtained η (90 K)=2.7×10-5 and η(300 K)=1.1×10-4 in good agreement with previously published results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-447
Number of pages19
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 11 Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Beryllium coating
  • Neutron reflectivity
  • Neutron transmission
  • Storage of ultracold neutrons
  • X-ray induced photoelectron spectroscopy


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