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Title: Neutron Damage in Mechanically-Cooled High-Purity Germanium Detectors for Field-Portable Prompt Gamma Neutron Activation Analysis (PGNAA) Systems

Prompt Gamma Neutron Activation (PGNAA) systems require the use of a gamma-ray spectrometer to record the gamma-ray spectrum of an object under test and allow the determination of the object’s composition. Field-portable systems, such as Idaho National Laboratory’s PINS system, have used standard liquid-nitrogen-cooled high-purity germanium (HPGe) detectors to perform this function. These detectors have performed very well in the past, but the requirement of liquid-nitrogen cooling limits their use to areas where liquid nitrogen is readily available or produced on-site. Also, having a relatively large volume of liquid nitrogen close to the detector can impact some assessments, possibly leading to a false detection of explosives or other nitrogen-containing chemical. Use of a mechanically-cooled HPGe detector is therefore very attractive for PGNAA applications where nitrogen detection is critical or where liquid-nitrogen logistics are problematic. Mechanically-cooled HPGe detectors constructed from p-type germanium, such as Ortec’s trans-SPEC, have been commercially available for several years. In order to assess whether these detectors would be suitable for use in a fielded PGNAA system, Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has been performing a number of tests of the resistance of mechanically-cooled HPGe detectors to neutron damage. These detectors have been standard commercially-available p-type HPGe detectors asmore » well as prototype n-type HPGe detectors. These tests compare the performance of these different detector types as a function of crystal temperature and incident neutron fluence on the crystal.« less
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Conference: 2013 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference,Seoul, Korea,10/27/2013,11/02/2013
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Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
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Country of Publication:
United States
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY high purity germanium detectors; neutron damage; pgnaa; PINS