A Handbook of Radioactivity Measurements Procedures: With by National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements

By National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements

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Additional resources for A Handbook of Radioactivity Measurements Procedures: With Nuclear Data for Some Biomedically Important Radionuclides

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30 / 2. PHYSICS OF SOME RADIATION DETECTORS voltage is such that nearly all primary events are counted, a plot of counting rate against applied voltage becomes nearly horizontal, and the flatness of the curve in this region, the plateau, is a measure of the ability of the counter to detect essentially all primary ionizing events. Any further increase in voltage will cause only a small increase in counting rate. An increase in the effective sensitive volume of the counter, or the onset of spurious pulses, can also cause the plateau to have a positive slope.

Alcohol has a lower ionization potential than argon, so that the ions moving toward the cathode will, after a few collisions, consist only of alcohol ions. In contrast to argon ions, alcohol ions dissociate and do not produce photoelectrons when neutralized at the cathode. Therefore, multiple pulsing is avoided. However, the alcohol ions dissociate upon being neutralized and when the supply of alcohol is exhausted, after some lo8 counts, poor plateau characteristics result. Halogen vapors also have the same quenching effect (Liebson and Friedman, 1948; Friedman, 1949).

Such photoelectrons give rise to spurious pulses that occur within 10 or 15 microseconds for most counters of typical dimensions, and operating pressures and voltages (see Campion, 1973). Longer delayed pulses, called after-pulses, arise from the neutralization of the positive ions close to the cathode wall with the emission of a photoelectron from the cathode wall (see BIPM, 1976). The addition of small proportions of gases with complex molecules that absorb photons without ionization increases the stability of the counter.

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