Electronic radon monitoring with the CMOS System-on-Chip AlphaRad

Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien (IPHC) UMR 7500 CNRS/IN2P3, 23 rue du Lœss, BP 28, F-67037 Strasbourg Cedex 2, France; Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN, DSU-SERAC-LPMA), BP 68, 91192 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors and Associated Equipment (Impact Factor: 1.32). 01/2008; DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2007.10.034

ABSTRACT The development of the integrated circuit AlphaRad as a new System-on-Chip for detection of α-particles has already been reported. This paper deals with electronic monitoring of atmospheric radon, which is one of the promising applications of the chip. The future electronic radon monitor (ERM) is designed to be compact, inexpensive, operating at low voltage and fully stand-alone. We present here the complete electronic board of the future ERM: it is made of three independent AlphaRad chips running in parallel, mounted on a small printed-circuit board which includes a numeric block for data treatment based on a Xilinx programmable gate array. The maximal counting rate of the AlphaRad chip has been pushed to at least 3×106 α-particles cm−2. The complete system for detection of the solid aerosols will be published separately, and this paper will focus on the electronic board alone. Already 20 times faster than our first measurement with a CMOS pixel sensor, the system was tested at low and high activities, showing an excellent linearity for 222Rn levels up to 80 kBq m−3.

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    ABSTRACT: An integrated System-on-Chip (SoC) has been designed in CMOS mixed analog/digital technology, and tested for high rate alpha particle counting. The sensor is the most innovative part of the chip, with a total active area of . The two-stage charge-to-voltage amplification scheme includes a numerical block for offset compensation. Designed with a gain of 700, the chip has been tested in alpha sources: a very high signal over noise ratio was obtained, leading to a detection efficiency of 5 MeV alpha particles close to 100%. The chip is working at room temperature and has been tested up to 300 kHz reset frequency.Future applications of this SoC will focus on detection of fast and thermal neutrons free of gamma contamination.
    Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors and Associated Equipment 12/2006; · 1.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A CMOS active pixel sensor (APS), originally designed for the tracking of minimum ionizing charged particles, has been used for α-particle counting inside a tank containing 1200 Bq/m3 of 222Rn. We present the APS results and those obtained with well-established methods for a run in the Rn tank. This study opens the way towards a fully electronic compact Rn dosimeter.
    Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms 09/2004; · 1.19 Impact Factor