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Proceedings Paper

Pulse Shape Discrimination For Background Rejection In Germanium Gamma-Ray Detectors
Author(s): P. T. Feffer; D. M. Smith; R. D. Campbell; J. H. Primbsch; R. P. Lin; P. N. Luke; N. W. Madden; R. H. Pehl; J. L. Matteson
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Paper Abstract

We report on the development of a pulse shape discrimination (PSD) technique to reject the B-decay background resulting from activation of germanium (Ge) gamma-ray detectors by cosmic ray secondaries. These B-decays are a major source of background at 0.2-2 MeV energies in well shielded Ge detector systems. The technique exploits the difference between the detected current pulse shapes of single- and multiple-site energy depositions within the detector: B-decays are primarily single-site events while photons at these energies typically Compton scatter before being photoelectrically absorbed to produce multiple-site events. Algorithms have been developed to distinguish between single- and multiple-site pulse shapes. Depending upon the amount of background due to sources other than B-decay, PSD can more than double the detector sensitivity. In addition, we report on tests of PSD by laboratory activation of a detector with a fast neutron source, and on the first direct measurement of the B-decay background at balloon float altitude using a Ge detector with PSD.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 November 1989
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 1159, EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Instrumentation for Astronomy and Atomic Physics, (27 November 1989); doi: 10.1117/12.962587
Show Author Affiliations
P. T. Feffer, University of California, Berkeley (United States)
D. M. Smith, University of California, Berkeley (United States)
R. D. Campbell, University of California, Berkeley (United States)
J. H. Primbsch, University of California, Berkeley (United States)
R. P. Lin, University of California, Berkeley (United States)
P. N. Luke, University of California, Berkeley (United States)
N. W. Madden, University of California, Berkeley (United States)
R. H. Pehl, University of California (United States)
J. L. Matteson, University of California (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1159:
EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Instrumentation for Astronomy and Atomic Physics
Charles J. Hailey; Oswald H. W. Siegmund, Editor(s)

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