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Construction of a charged particle irradiation chamber for the use with plastic detectors

Construction of a charged particle irradiation chamber for the use with plastic detectors

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Published by M.M. El Hawary
M.M. E1-Hawary, A. Hussein ~, A. E1-Rahmany, A.A. Ammar, A.R. E1-Sersy
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 103 (1995) 94-98
M.M. E1-Hawary, A. Hussein ~, A. E1-Rahmany, A.A. Ammar, A.R. E1-Sersy
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 103 (1995) 94-98

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Published by: M.M. El Hawary on Jan 09, 2010
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ELSEVIERNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 103 (1995) 94-98
Beam Interactionswith Materials & Atoms
Construction of a charged particle irradiation chamber for the usewith plastic detectors
M.M. E1-Hawary, A. Hussein ~, A. E1-Rahmany, A.A. Ammar, A.R. E1-Sersy
Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Monoufia University, Shebin El-koam, Egypt
Received 9 January 1995; revised form received 6 April 1995AbstractA simple sensitive charged particle irradiation chamber was designed and constructed in our laboratory. A circularrotating table with six detector holders, is contained in the chamber. The rotation is controlled electronically via a steppermotor with a precision of 1.8°. The beam-to-detector direction is changeable with an angle less than 5°. An alpha source isallowed to move vertically using another stepper motor. The source-to-detecior distance is determined with an accuracybetter than 1.0 mm. An energy monitoring system, composed of a silicon surface barrier detector and a signal electronicsystem attached to a PC is used for energy calibration. Chamber characterization and its application in nuclear trackregistration are studied under different conditions. The energy resolution of CR-39 plastic detector has been obtained atvarious alpha energies and etching durations. Results showed that good detector resolution could be achieved at high etchingduration.
1. Introduction
An increasing number of papers have dealt with the useof solid state materials [1-4] in radiation measurements.The induced effects in such materials are the principle toolfor such investigations. These effects are strongly depen-dent on the internal structure of the absorber (such asglasses, polymers and crystals) as well as on the kind andenergy of the incident radiation (such as gamma, neutrons,and charged particles).Different techniques of radiation measurements [5-9]have been employed and the track development in plasticfoils has been widely applicable in the field of radiationdosimetry. Plastic detectors attain many advantages overthe others; they have been successively used in heavycharged particle identification and detection with a widerange of energies. They have been used [10-14] in person-nel neutron dosimetry, radon level determination, uraniumand thorium estimation in rocks, water and plants, etc.The interaction of charged particles with plastic detec-tors results in track formation inside the materials. Severalinvestigators [15-17] have paid considerable importance tothe study of track parameters such as etching speeds,profiles and track range. This would lead to a precisedetermination of particle identification and detection. Inorder to make such measurements more accurate, particleenergy and incident angle should be precisely determined.The aim of the present work is to design and constructan irradiation chamber to be used in a variety of dosimetricapplications. It is designed in such a way that projectileenergy and incident angle are precisely controlled andaccurately measured.2.
Plastic sheets of CR-39 polycarbonate 500 ~m eachthick (TAS-TRACK, supplied by Bristol U.K.) were used.For alpha irradiation facility an 241Am thin source wasused. All plastic foils were etched chemically in 6.25 NNaOH at 70°C. The bulk etch rate, VB, was measuredusing the mass decrement method [15]. Track diameterswere measured using an optical Olympus microscope at-tached to an eye piece micrometer with each division equalto 0.22 ~xm.
3. Results and discussion
3.1. Construction of the irradiation chamber
* Corresponding author.The design of the irradiation chamber depends on thepurpose of its use. Our field of interest is specialized withradiation dosimetry studies using track-storing materials.0168-583X/95/$09.50 © 1995 EIsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved
M.M. El-Hawary et al./ Nucl. Instr, and Meth. in Phys. Res. B 103 (1995) 94-98
95So, the chamber was really designed to cover all our needsas well as to be used in future plans of studies.Fig. 1 shows a schematic diagram of the designedirradiation chamber. It is essentially a stainless steel belljar of diameter and height 30 and 40 cm, respectively. Thisjar is tightly mounted on a 50 × 50 cm square base, madeof 2.5 cm thick plexiglas, through an O-ring in order toassure good vacuum inside the chamber. On one side ofthe jar there is a window (W) which can be used as a viewto observe what is going in just before irradiation starts.Inside the chamber there is a circular rotating table (T) ofdiameter 15 cm made of bakelite fibre materials andsupported to the chamber base through a metal rod. It isallowed to rotate electronically using an underneath pullyconnected to a stepper motor (M1) through rubber belt (seeFig. 1). M1 is connected to a drive so that speed anddirection of rotation can precisely be controlled fromoutside. The stepper motor drive circuit was also designedusing IC-SAA 1027. There are five plastic detector holders(H) and a sixth one (D) is used for the surface barrierdetector. All holders are mounted on the table (T) andsimultaneously rotate with it. Each holder (H) is attachedto an angle scale with a precision better than 2 °, so one canprecisely determine the beam incident angle. Fig. 2a showsa schematic diagram of one of the plastic detector holders(H). The surface barrier detector is connected to a radiationanalyzer system compacted to a PC multichannel computerfor energy monitoring and calibration.At the upper part of the chamber there is a sourceholder (SH) (see Fig. 1) which is attached to a bakelitefibre roof. Fig. 2b shows the holder (SH) in more explicitway. The SH holder easily moves up and down using asecond stepper motor (M2) and consequently be controlledfrom outside. An alpha source (S) is supported on thelower end of the SH holder so the source is facing thetable (T). The source-to-detector distance can be deter-mined with an accuracy better than 1.0 mm. There is amagnetic shutter (MS), attached to the axial metallic rod,which was constructed in order to accurately control theirradiation duration. The chamber is connected to a two-stage rotary pump (P) and the vacuum is monitored andcontrolled using a needle valve and a digital pirany gauge(G). Through the chamber base there are four cableslabeled 1, 2, 3, and 4 which are connected to the surfacebarrier detector, motor (M1), motor (M2) and the magneticshutter (MS), respectively. In this way, the movement ofeverything inside the chamber is now electronically con-trolled from outside.
WFig. 1. Block diagram of the constructed irradiation chamber.
M.M. El-Hawary et aI. / NucI. Instr. and Meth. in Phys. Res. B 103 (1995) 94-98
Fig. 2. A design of the detector holder, H, (a) and source holder,SH, (b).
3.2. Particle energy measurement
In order to facilitate the irradiation procedure, an en-ergy calibration curve should first be determined. Theenergy calibration was performed using an alpha spectrom-eter model TC 256 and a TC pulser compacted to a 4kmultichannel analyzer and PC computer. Then the irradia-tion chamber was evacuated to the various values ofpressure and source-to-detector distance was varied from 5to 11 cm. The table (T) (see Fig. 1) was aligned at aposition where the surface barrier detector was facing thealpha source.Fig. 3 shows a group of curves which represent therelation between alpha energy, E, and the pressure insidethe chamber (P). It is obvious from this figure that Eshows a decrease with increasing P at all the studieddistances, d, between the source and the detector. Anempirical relationship of the formE =E o +AP
+BP 2
Pro=~=;uro t
Fig. 3. Variation of alpha particle energy (E) with pressure (P) atdifferent source-to-detector distances, D, where curves a, b, c, d, eand f represent D equals 11, 10, 8, 7, 6 and 5 em respectively.
" I I I 4 ],4,T
I I 1 I I I I
S 8 10 12
D|=~,~Ln¢O [ Cm ]
Fig. 4. Variation of alpha panicle energy (E) with distance (D) atdifferent pressure values.

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