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Radiation Detectors SCINTILLATION COUNTER SCINTILLATION COUNTER The scintillation counter is a solid state radiation detector. EO 2.7 DESCRIBE  the  operation  of  a  scintillation  counter  to include: a. Radiation detection b. Three classes of phosphors c. Photomultiplier tube operation The  scintillation  counter  is  a  solid  state  radiation  detector  which  uses  a  scintillation  crystal (phosphor) to detect radiation and produce light pulses.  Figure 24 is important in the explanation of scintillation counter operation. As radiation interacts in the Figure 24   Electronic Energy Band of an Ionic Crystal scintillation crystal, energy is transferred  to  bound  electrons  of  the crystal’s  atoms.   If  the  energy  that  is transferred is greater than the ionization  energy,  the  electron  enters the  conduction  band  and  is  free  from the binding forces of the parent atom. This  leaves  a  vacancy  in  the  valence band  and  is  termed  a  hole.     If  the energy   transferred   is   less   than   the binding  energy,  the  electron  remains attached,   but   exists   in   an   excited energy  state.    Once  again,  a  hole  is created   in   the   valence   band. By adding impurities during the growth of the scintillation crystal, the manufacturer    is    able    to    produce activator  centers  with  energy  levels located  within  the  forbidden  energy gap.    The  activator  center  can  trap  a mobile electron, which raises the activator center from its ground state, G, to an excited state, E.    When  the  center  de-excites,  a  photon  is  emitted.    The  activator  centers  in  a  scintillation crystal are referred to as luminescence centers.   The emitted photons are in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Rev. 0 Page 45 IC-06


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