ZnS:Ag Detects 10 keV Protons in High Vacuum

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In summary, the conversation discusses the possibility of using a thin mylar film with deposited ZnS:Ag to detect low energy protons in a high vacuum. It is suggested that the ZnS:Ag may be sensitive to alpha particles with energies up to 5 MeV, but it is uncertain if it can detect 10 keV protons. However, a friend has successfully used this setup in a Cockroft-Walton accelerator, where the mylar fluoresces and the proton beam can be manipulated with a magnet. It is noted that there may be some air leaks in the system.
  • #1
VACUUMIST
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Hi

I need to know if a thin mylar film with deposited ZnS:Ag is capable to detect low energy protons, say 10 keV, emitted in a high vacuum.
 
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  • #2
This is just a guess but I would say yes if the proton do not have to pass through the mylar.
 
  • #3
I think ZnS:Ag has a peak sensitivity to ~5 MeV alpha particles. A 10 keV proton probably wouldn't be energetic enough to detect.
 
  • #4
gleem, websterling,
Thanks to you both.
A friend of mine is building a Cockroft-Walton accelerator, now at the ion source stage.
The ion source is delivering 1mA of ions, and 4 inches below the extraction electrode he placed a thin mylar covered with ZnS:Ag.
It fluoresces strongly and the invisible beam can be displaced with a strong magnet.
So, there are ions and fluorescence, under 10 kV.
The system has some leaks, so it is not fed only with H2, there is some air also. At first I guessed was UV-induced fluorescence but the magnet move the beam.
ion beam.jpg

See the attached image. At the center of the electrode there is a small piece of the mylar as well a "collar" outside it.
 

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1. What is ZnS:Ag and how does it detect 10 keV protons in high vacuum?

ZnS:Ag is a type of scintillator material, which means it emits light when struck by charged particles. When 10 keV protons enter the high vacuum chamber and collide with the ZnS:Ag, they cause the material to emit light, which can be detected and measured.

2. How is ZnS:Ag different from other scintillator materials?

ZnS:Ag is unique because it has a high sensitivity to low energy particles, such as 10 keV protons. It also has a fast response time, making it ideal for detecting particles in high vacuum environments.

3. What is the significance of detecting 10 keV protons in high vacuum?

Detecting 10 keV protons in high vacuum is important for various scientific and technological applications. It can help in understanding the behavior of particles in space or in particle accelerators, as well as in the development of new materials and technologies.

4. How is ZnS:Ag used in experiments to detect 10 keV protons in high vacuum?

ZnS:Ag is usually coated onto a surface, such as a thin film or a plate, and placed in the high vacuum chamber. When 10 keV protons enter the chamber, they interact with the ZnS:Ag coating and emit light, which is then detected by a photodetector.

5. Are there any limitations to using ZnS:Ag for detecting 10 keV protons in high vacuum?

While ZnS:Ag is highly sensitive to low energy particles, it may not be suitable for detecting higher energy particles. Additionally, the material can degrade over time due to exposure to radiation, so it may need to be replaced periodically in long-term experiments.

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