Holmium-166m measurements with AMS for the ECHo-project

Dr Georg Rugel1, Sebastian Berndt2, Christoph E. Düllmann2,3,4, Holger Dorrer2, Oliver Forstner5,6, Tom Kieck2,7, Johannes Lachner1, Silke Merchel1,8, Carlos Vivo-Vilches1, Anton Wallner1, Klaus Wendt7

1Accelerator Mass Spectrometry and Isotope Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Dresden, Germany, , Germany, 2Department of Chemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany, 3GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH, Darmstadt, Germany, 4Helmholtz Institute Mainz, Mainz, Germany, 5Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Jena, Germany, 6Helmholtz Institute Jena, Jena, Germany, 7Institute of Physics, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany, 8Isotope Physics, Faculty of Physics, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

The Electron Capture in ¹⁶³Ho experiment (ECHo) aims at measuring the mass of the electron neutrino by analysing the EC spectrum of the long-lived radionuclide ¹⁶³Ho (T_1/2 = 4570 a) with a metallic magnetic calorimeter (MMC). For the determination of a reasonable upper limit for the neutrino mass it is mandatory to keep the contamination with the long-lived radionuclide ¹⁶⁶mHo (T_1/2 = 1132.6 a) nine orders of magnitude below the ¹⁶³Ho content. The ion-implantation of ultra-pure ¹⁶³Ho into a MMC for the experiment is carried out by the RISIKO (Resonance Ionization Spectroscopy in KOllinear geometry) mass separator. The separation from ¹⁶⁶mHo, however, cannot be guaranteed to such low levels as needed in this project, it can only be estimated. Here we present our approach to determine the corresponding low isotopic ratio with accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). Of course, this requires the formation of negative ions, where we find the highest negative ion yield for the anion HoO₂−. For first tests, stable ¹⁶⁵Ho was implanted by RISIKO into various different metal foils and we studied the overall Ho detection efficiency for our setup. We will present first results and estimates of the expected detection limit for the ¹⁶⁶mHo/¹⁶³Ho isotope ratio.


I work in the field of AMS since 1997 – starting at the MP tandem in Munich/Garching, measuring mostly Ni-63, Fe-60, Mn-53, Ca-41 and moved 2011 to the new Dresden AMS (DREAMS) measuring Be-10, Al-26, Cl-36, Ca-41 and from time to time exotic ones like Ho-166m.

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Nov 19 2021


10:00 am - 10:55 pm