Precise estimation of neutron thermalization in moderators relies on high-fidelity thermal scattering cross-section data governed by the thermal scattering law (TSL). The Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN) has been working on the development of improved TSL for light water ice. Many polymorphic phases of light water ice exist depending on the thermodynamic conditions. The most common type of ice at standard pressure and temperature below water freezing point (273.15 K) is ice-Ih. It is essential to have high-resolution experimental double differential data for developing and/or validating TSL for moderator materials.Existing experimental double-differential scattering data for ice-Ih are extremely sparse and of limited quality. New high-quality double-differential measurements for ice-Ih over multiple temperatures and incident neutron energies would directly support the validation and improvement of ice-Ih TSL models for criticality safety applications.
Series of time-of-flight (TOF) inelastic neutron scattering experiments on ice-Ih at temperatures starting at 271 K and down to 6 K, have been carried out at the SEQUOIA spectrometer at the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), United States. The experiments have been performed for incident neutron energies, Ei= 11, 55, 160, 250, and 600 meV, to explore different excitation energies in the vibrational phonon spectrum. This paper presents the thermodynamic conditions and the details of the TOF measurements on ice-Ih and the derived phonon spectrum from the experimentally measured double differential data. A study of the variation of the phonon spectrum of ice-Ih as a function of temperature is highlighted, and a preliminary TSL evaluation is developed based on the experimental phonon spectrum.