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A CMOS integrated pulse mode alpha-particle counter for application in radon monitoring

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3 Author(s)
A. Ahmed ; Dept. of Electron., Carleton Univ., Ottawa, Ont., Canada ; D. J. Walkey ; N. G. Tarr

A custom integrated circuit for detecting alpha particles for application in the monitoring of radon has been designed and tested. The design uses the reverse-biased well to substrate capacitance of a p-n junction in a conventional CMOS process as a sense capacitor for incident alpha particles, A simple CMOS inverter is used as an analog amplifier to detect the small potential change induced by an alpha-particle strike on the sense capacitor. The design was implemented in a 1.2-μm conventional CMOS process with a sense capacitor area of 110 μm2. Tests carried out under vacuum conditions using a calibrated 241Am alpha-particle source showed an output voltage swing of ⩾2.0 V for an alpha event. The detector is also shown to have good immunity to noise and high-quantum efficiency for alpha particles

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science  (Volume:44 ,  Issue: 3 )