Diamond Radiation Detectors

Alameda Applied Sciences Corporation has used diamond radiation detectors to measure the dose delivered by a 12 MeV electron accelerator at Atomic Energy Canada Limited (AECL). This accelerator is used for medical instrument sterilization. The electron beam is scanned to generate a beam size of 18 cm x 3 cm at 50% beam intensity (i.e. full width at half maximum). The dose/pulse was 0.5 kGy with a duration of 200 μs. The AASC DRDs survived this dose intact.

Applications

Diamond radiation detectors have been used in Nuclear Weapons Effects simulation at Sandia National Laboratory. Time resolved measurements of the soft x-ray fluence from plasma radiation sources on Saturn were obtained using calibrated DRDs. These measurements show that the sensitivity of the DRDs is independent of the energy of the photons over a wide range of photon energies ranging from 1000 eV through 5 keV.

DRDs have also been used to measure the intensity of x-rays emitted by synchrotrons. These measurements consisted of both time integrated and time resolved measurements of the x- ray intensity. The time integrated measurements provide a monitor of the x-ray intensity as if it were emitted from a continuous source. The time resolved measurements have resolved the individual bursts of photons emitted with an x-ray pulse full width at half maximum of approximately 350 ps.

Diamond radiation detectors have also been successfully used to detect charged particles and energetic neutrons. Both time resolved and time integrated (pulse counting) measurements have been made.

Specifications

Diamond radiation detectors have the distinct advantage of being rugged and radiation hardened and require only a low DC forward bias voltage. Simple circuitry is required to measure the signal generated in the diamond due to the radiation incident on it.