Astroparticle Physics Volume 18, Issue 1, August 2002, Pages 1-25
(Submitted 17 September 2001, Available online 6 December 2001).
The techniques researched, developed and applied towards the measurement of radioisotope concentrations at ultra-low levels in the real-time solar neutrino experiment BOREXINO at Gran Sasso are presented and illustrated with specific results of widespread interest. We report the use of low-level germanium gamma spectrometry, low-level miniaturized gas proportional counters and low background scintillation detectors developed in solar neutrino research. Each now sets records in its field. We additionally describe our techniques of radiochemical ultra-pure, few atom manipulations and extractions. Forefront measurements also result from the powerful combination of neutron activation and low-level counting. Finally, with our techniques and commercially available mass spectrometry and atomic absorption spectroscopy, new low-level detection limits for isotopes of interest are obtained.