How Do Silicon Radiation Detectors Work in Detecting Beta and Gamma Radiations?

In summary: The workings of the silicon radiation detectors are unclear to me even though the demonstrators tried to explain it. It is unclear to me how the detected signal represents all the energy deposited by the radiation. Also, it is unclear how the discharge works, and it is unclear how much energy is expected from the induced currents.
  • #1
C_Pu
5
0
So we are doing Radioactivity lab at second year undergraduate. I am confused about the workings of the silicon radiation detects we are using even though the demonstrators tried to explain. We are detecting beta and gamma radiations by placing sources above a silicon detector that have a small area exposed.

According to the demonstrators, the detected signal represents all the energy deposited by the radiation. But wouldn't some energy go into the kinetic energies of the conducting electrons which would not be picked up as voltage?

Also, we see layers of discharge curves on the oscilloscope, how does the discharge work? They seem to have the same spread/period, are they timed? If it's just capacitor with same threshold, shouldn't all discharge occur at the same voltage?
 
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  • #2
The induced currents lead to net electron velocities of something like femtometers per second - how much energy do you expect?
In addition, this is a process that happens after all the energy got deposited, and you need a calibration of "energy per electron/hole pair" anyway because not all the energy is used to produce those pairs (most of it is lost as heat).
C_Pu said:
Also, we see layers of discharge curves on the oscilloscope, how does the discharge work? They seem to have the same spread/period, are they timed? If it's just capacitor with same threshold, shouldn't all discharge occur at the same voltage?
Is the energy the same every time?
 
  • #3
mfb said:
The induced currents lead to net electron velocities of something like femtometers per second - how much energy do you expect?
In addition, this is a process that happens after all the energy got deposited, and you need a calibration of "energy per electron/hole pair" anyway because not all the energy is used to produce those pairs (most of it is lost as heat).Is the energy the same every time?
The energies from incoming beta electrons are different and energy deposited depends on the path in silicon too. We see many layers of discharge curve with different peaks but about same period.
 
  • #4
C_Pu said:
and energy deposited depends on the path in silicon too
Depends on your sensor and the radiation.
C_Pu said:
We see many layers of discharge curve with different peaks but about same period.
Okay. What is unclear now?
 

Related to How Do Silicon Radiation Detectors Work in Detecting Beta and Gamma Radiations?

1. What is a silicon radiation detector?

A silicon radiation detector is a device used to detect and measure radiation, such as alpha, beta, and gamma particles, by utilizing the properties of silicon as a semiconductor material.

2. How does a silicon radiation detector work?

Silicon radiation detectors work by converting the energy from radiation particles into electrical signals. When a radiation particle enters the detector, it interacts with the silicon atoms, causing the release of electrons. These electrons then create a current, which can be measured and used to determine the type and energy of the radiation.

3. What are the advantages of using silicon radiation detectors?

One of the main advantages of silicon radiation detectors is their high sensitivity, allowing for accurate detection and measurement of even small amounts of radiation. They also have a wide range of detection capabilities, from low to high energy radiation. Additionally, they are relatively inexpensive and easy to produce, making them widely available for use in various scientific and industrial applications.

4. What are the limitations of silicon radiation detectors?

One limitation of silicon radiation detectors is their inability to detect neutral particles, such as neutrons, as they do not produce a significant amount of ionization in the silicon material. They also have a limited temperature range in which they can operate effectively. Additionally, they can be damaged by high levels of radiation, reducing their lifespan and accuracy.

5. What are the common uses of silicon radiation detectors?

Silicon radiation detectors have a wide range of uses in various fields, including medical imaging, nuclear physics research, and environmental monitoring. They are also commonly used in the detection and measurement of radiation in industrial settings, such as in nuclear power plants and radioactive waste management facilities.

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