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D-microgeiger: a microfabricated beta-particle detector with dual cavities for energy spectroscopy

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3 Author(s)
Wilson, C.G. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor, MI, USA ; Eun, C.K. ; Gianchandani, Y.B.

This paper reports on micromachined Geiger counters fabricated from stacks of glass and Si wafers. As a beta particle passes through, a bias applied between two enclosed electrodes generates electron cascades in the gas between them. This results in a current pulse or "count". A single die of 2 cm2 had 6 independent chambers ranging in size from 8×8 mm2 to 1×3 mm2. Helium and neon, which have different voltage bias requirements, were separately evaluated as background gases. In tests the device was found to detect incident beta particles from a Uranium-238, and calibrated 90Sr, 60Co, and 204T1 sources, of 0.1-1 μCurie strength. In the D-microGeiger incident beta particles pass through two independent cavities that are separated by a glass barrier, which provides calibrated energy absorption. By comparing the counts in the two cavities, information about the energy of the radiation is determined. This provides an inherent ability to discern the chemical nature of the isotope, not just the presence of radiation.

Published in:

Micro Electro Mechanical Systems, 2005. MEMS 2005. 18th IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

30 Jan.-3 Feb. 2005