2004 Volume 14 Issue 4 Pages 260-265
Development of the neutron spin filter (NSF) based on polarized gaseous 3He is under way at KEK. 3He nuclei have a large neutron absorption cross section depending on the spin direction. A neutron spin filter is possible with polarized 3He nuclei. Gaseous 3He is polarized by the spin exchange optical pumping (SEOP) method. 3He cells made of sapphire and quartz glass have been prepared and tested. Spin relaxation times of more than 100 hours are regularly observed for quartz glass cells. 3He polarizations have been measured with a pulsed neutron beam at KENS to be 63% for a sapphire cell and 54% for a quartz glass cell. With these cells, neutron polarizations of 86% and 74% were obtained, respectively, at thermal energy. In this article, the up-to-date status of the development is reported as well as general properties of the SEOP-NSF.