Search for 2β of cerium isotopes with CeCl3 scintillator

2010 - Double beta processes in 136Ce, 138Ce and 142Ce have been searched for by exploiting the active source approach with the help of a 6.9 g CeCl3 crystal scintillator. The obtained upper limits for the half life of the considered decays are reported in the table.

Further improvements in sensitivity can be reached by using enriched 136Ce, increasing the detection efficiency by using larger CeCl3 detector, and developing CeCl3 scintillators with lower level of radioactive contamination. An experiment involving about 100 kg of crystals enriched in 136Ce to 20% (5 × 1025 nuclei of 136Ce) could reach over 5 years of measurements the half-life sensitivity T1/2 ≈ 1025 yr (supposing zero background).