SILICON DIODE AS AN ALPHA PARTICLE DETECTOR AND SPECTROMETER FOR DIRECT FIELD MEASUREMENTS

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Abstract

A windowless silicon (Si) diode (4 mm2) was evaluated as alpha particle detector and spectrometer for field measurements. It was irradiated with alpha particles from a 241Am (2.3 kBq) and a 210Po (9 kBq) source at source-detector distances (SDD) of 0.5, 1.0 and 1.8 cm. The energy resolution in terms of full width at half maximum was 281, 148 and 113 keV for SDD of 0.5, 1.0 and 1.8 cm, respectively. The minimum detectable activity increased from 0.08 to 0.83 Bq when the SDD increased from 0.5 to 1.8 cm. The detector has the potential for several alpha spectrometric applications, such as monitoring for wound, skin and surface contamination at nuclear fuel facilities, nuclear power plants and facilities handling radioactive waste. Other areas are environmental surveys following releases of actinides at accidents in nuclear power plants and in connection with other radiological or nuclear scenarios.

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