Generalized method for the optimization of pulse shape discrimination parameters

J. Zhou, A. Abdulaziz, Y. Altmann, A. Di Fulvio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Organic scintillators exhibit fast timing, high detection efficiency for fast neutrons and pulse shape discrimination (PSD) capability. PSD is essential in mixed radiation fields, where different types of radiation need to be detected and discriminated. In neutron measurements for nuclear security and non proliferation effective PSD is crucial, because a weak neutron signature needs to be detected in the presence of a strong gamma-ray background. The most commonly used deterministic PSD technique is charge integration (CI). This method requires the optimization of specific parameters to obtain the best gamma-neutron separation. These parameters depend on the scintillating material and light readout device and typically require a lengthy optimization process and a calibration reference measurement with a mixed source. In this paper, we propose a new method based on the scintillation fluorescence physics that enables to find the optimum PSD integration gates using only a gamma-ray emitter. We demonstrate our method using three organic scintillation detectors: deuterated trans-stilbene, small-molecule organic glass, and EJ-309. In all the investigated cases, our method allowed finding the optimum PSD CI parameters without the need of iterative optimization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number168184
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
StatePublished - May 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Exponential model
  • Fast neutron detection
  • PSD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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