Organic scintillator-based alpha/beta detector for radiological decontamination

Y. Morishita, A. Di Fulvio, S. D. Clarke, K. J. Kearfott, S. A. Pozzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A detector that can distinguish alpha from beta particles is valuable for detecting alpha emitters from contamination at and around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP), and other nuclear facility decontamination sites. We developed a prototype alpha/beta particle detector using a pulse shape discrimination (PSD) capable organic scintillator, a silicon photomultiplier, and a waveform digitizer. The charge integration PSD technique was used to separate alpha and beta particles. We compared the PSD figure of merit (FOM) values of two scintillators (EJ-299-33 and stilbene), and found that the stilbene (FOM=1.61) performance was superior to the EJ-299-33 (FOM=0.56) performance, measured using an 241Am source (5.5 MeV alpha particle emission) and a 90Sr source. Additionally, the stilbene showed good energy resolution (23.6 %FWHM for 5.5 MeV alpha particles). In the pulse height spectrum for the 90Sr∕90Y source, the lower energy portion (90Sr) and the higher energy portion (90Y) could be separated. To demonstrate the detector's separation ability, the 232Th source was measured. The measurements demonstrated the alpha and beta particle separation, and alpha and beta spectra were obtained simultaneously, which was not possible when using commercial detectors such as a ZnS(Ag) scintillation detector.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-213
Number of pages7
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
StatePublished - Aug 11 2019


  • Alpha particle detector
  • EJ-299-33
  • Pulse shape discrimination
  • Stilbene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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