Prospects on low-Z elements K fluorescence and actinide-radionuclides L fluorescence X-ray detection with cooled CZT

J. M. Maia, R. M. Curado Da Silva, Yoon Seong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In the present study, we show that CZT detectors can be used in a wide X-ray energy range including low-energy X-rays down to 2.1 keV at - 17°C which may be extended down to 1.5 keV by additional cooling to - 26°C. CZT detector was operated in the low energy X-ray band <5 keV to detect the K fluorescence X-rays emitted by low-Z elements, such as Ca, K, Cl, S, and eventually even further P, Si, Al. Additionally, it was demonstrated the fine spectroscopic features of the CZT detector cooled to - 26°C, which make it suitable for the detection of L fluorescence X-rays emitted by high-Z elements in the ~11 - 22 keV range, such as Th, Pa, U, Np and Pu, resulting from the decay of actinide radionuclides 234U/235U/238U,237Np, 238Pu/239Pu,241Am and244Cm, respectively. With this cooled CZT detector it was possible to resolve the main L X-ray lines as well as to measure its intensity. The relative intensity obtained for the Pu L X-ray lines Li, {equation presented} was, respectively, {equation presented}. The Np L X-ray most intense lines {equation presented} yielded a relative intensity of {equation presented}, respectively. The overall results are in good agreement with the values found in literature. The principal performance features of the CZT detector were, also studied experimentally or estimated from data tabulated in the literature. Notably, we found a ~ 2.5-fold diminution of the electronic noise FWHM temperature sensitivity (from ~ 41 to ~ 16 eV/°C) and thus of the equivalent noise charge temperature sensitivity (from ~ 3.8 to ~ 1.5 e -/° C) when the temperature decreases from - 1 to - 26° C. The influence of several properties, such as the charge mobility and lifetime, band gap energy, detector's leakage current and capacitance, on CZT detector performance features was also addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7064810
Pages (from-to)577-587
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Semiconductor radiation detectors
  • X-ray detection
  • X-ray detectors
  • X-ray spectroscopy


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