Radon measurements with a compact, organic-scintillator-based alpha/beta spectrometer
Morishita, Yuki ; Ye, Y.*; Mata, L.*; Pozzi, S. A.*; Kearfott, K. J.*
We have developed a compact, organic-scintillator-based alpha/beta spectrometer for radon measurements and have characterized it using a unique, small radon chamber. The spectrometer is composed of a through-silicon via (TSV) silicon photomultiplier (or SiPM) and a 6 mm 6 mm 6 mm stilbene crystal cube. Analog signals from the SiPM are sent to a digitizer. The detector is housed in a light-tight box, with a stacked air filter installed in one side of the box to enable Rn gas to diffuse to the inside. We conducted one experiment with the spectrometer and an AlphaGUARD detector placed in a basement at the University of Michigan, and we conducted other experiments with both detectors placed in a small radon chamber together with Ra sources. By applying a pulse-shape-discrimination technique, we were able to separate the alpha and beta spectra simultaneously and clearly and to measure them quantitatively. We found two peaks in the measured alpha spectrum: a lower-energy peak due to Po and a higher-energy peak due to Po. We found a linear relation between the radon concentration y from AlphaGUARD and the counting rates from the stilbene-SiPM detector. The alpha/beta spectrometer is less than 10 mm thick, and we expect that it will be easy to increase the sensitivity with future device construction. Thus, this compact, organic-scintillator-based alpha/beta spectrometer shows promise for use in novel radon-detection systems.