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Detector of alpha particles and x-rays operating in ambient air in pulse counting mode or/and with gas amplification

Abstract : Ionization chambers working in ambient air in current detection mode are attractive due to their simplicity and low cost and are widely used in several applications such as smoke detection, dosimetry, therapeutic beam monitoring and so on. The aim of this work was to investigate if gaseous detectors can operate in ambient air in pulse counting mode as well as with gas amplification which potentially offers the highest possible sensitivity in applications like alpha particle detection or high energy X-ray photon or electron detection. To investigate the feasibility of this method two types of open-end gaseous detectors were build and successfully tested. The first one was a single wire or multiwire cylindrical geometry detector operating in pulse mode at a gas gain of one (pulse ionization chamber). This detector was readout by a custom made wide -band charge sensitive amplifier able to deal with slow induced signals generated by slow motion of negative and positive ions. The multiwire detector was able to detect alpha particles with an efficiency close to 22%. The second type of an alpha detector was an innovative GEM-like detector with resistive electrodes operating in air in avalanche mode at high gas gains (up to 104). This detector can also operate in a cascaded mode or being combined with other detectors, for example with MICROMEGAS. This detector was readout by a conventional charge -sensitive amplifier and was able to detect alpha particles with 100% efficiency. This detector could also detect X-ray photons or fast electrons. A detailed comparison between these two detectors is given as well as a comparison with commercially available alpha detectors. The main advantages of gaseous detectors operating in air in a pulse detection mode are their simplicity, low cost and high sensitivity. One of the possible applications of these new detectors is alpha particle background monitors which, due to their low cost can find wide application not only in houses, but in public areas: airports, railway station and so on.
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Contributor : Andrée-Aimée Toucas <>
Submitted on : Monday, November 9, 2009 - 3:42:45 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - 4:18:29 PM

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Philippe Breuil, Benaben Patrick, Vladimir Peskov, George Charpak. Detector of alpha particles and x-rays operating in ambient air in pulse counting mode or/and with gas amplification. Journal of Instrumentation, IOP Publishing, 2008, p02006. ⟨10.1088/1748-0221/3/02/P02006⟩. ⟨emse-00430708⟩



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