Fabrication of liquid scintillators loaded with 6-phenylhexanoic acid-modified ZrO2 nanoparticles for observation of neutrinoless double beta decay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The observation of neutrinoless double beta decay is an important issue in nuclear and particle physics. The development of organic liquid scintillators with high transparency and a high concentration of the target isotope would be very useful for neutrinoless double beta decay experiments. Therefore, we propose a liquid scintillator loaded with metal oxide nanoparticles containing the target isotope. In this work, 6-phenylhexanoic acid-modified ZrO2 nanoparticles, which contain96Zr as the target isotope, were synthesized under sub/supercritical hydrothermal conditions. The effects of the synthesis temperature on the formation and surface modification of the nanoparticles were investigated. Performing the synthesis at 250 and 300C resulted in the formation of nanoparticles with smaller particle sizes and higher surface modification densities than those prepared at 350 and 400C. The highest modification density (3.1 ± 0.2 molecules/nm2) and Zr concentration of (0.33 ± 0.04 wt.%) were obtained at 300C. The surface-modified ZrO2 nanoparticles were dispersed in a toluene-based liquid scintillator. The liquid scintillator was transparent to the scintillation wavelength, and a clear scintillation peak was confirmed by X-rayinduced radioluminescence spectroscopy. In conclusion, 6-phenylhexanoic acid-modified ZrO2 nanoparticles synthesized at 300C are suitable for loading in liquid scintillators.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1124
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May


  • 6-phenylhexanoic acid
  • Hydrothermal synthesis
  • Liquid scintillator
  • Nanoparticles
  • Neutrinoless double beta decay
  • ZrO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Fabrication of liquid scintillators loaded with 6-phenylhexanoic acid-modified ZrO<sub>2</sub> nanoparticles for observation of neutrinoless double beta decay'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this