A 4.8 m(3) unsegmented liquid scintillation detector at the underground Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso has shown the feasibility of multi-ton low-background detectors operating to energies as low as 250 keV. Detector construction and the handling of large volumes of liquid scintillator to minimize the background are described. The scintillator, 1.5 g PPO/L-pseudocumene, is held in a flexible nylon vessel shielded by 1000 t of purified water. The active detector volume is viewed by 100 photomultipliers, which measure time and charge for each event, from which energy, position and pulse shape are deduced. On-line purification of the scintillator by water extraction, vacuum distillation and nitrogen stripping removed radioactive impurities. Upper limits were established of < 10(-7) Bq/kg-scintillator for events with energies 250 keV < E < 800 keV, and < 10(-9) Bq/g-scintillator due to the decay products of uranium and thorium. The isotopic abundance of C-14/C-12 in the scintillator was shown to be approximately 10(-18) by extending the energy window of the detector to 25-250 keV. The C-14 abundance and uranium and thorium levels in the CTF are compatible with the Borexino Solar Neutrino Experiment.
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