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Accurate Integral Counting Using Multi-channel Analyzers



Ryan P. Fitzgerald, Lynne E. King


Many techniques in radionuclide metrology rely on accurate measurement of the total count rate, that is integral counting, from a detector. In modern experiments, this can be achieved by integrating the total number of counts in an energy spectrum produced by a multi-channel analyzer (MCA) divided by the MCA live time. In this paper we present the design and results from a live-timed MCA based on a list-mode digitizer and a live-timed scalar, both with imposed, extending dead-times. These systems were benchmarked against an existing NIST live- timed counter used for live-timed anti-coincidence counting. After validation, these systems were used to determine correction factors to an MCA that uses Gedcke-Hale dead-time corrections. Tests were performed for a large-area gas-flow proportional counter and a NaI(Tl) detector for count rates up to 80,000 s-1 with various dead times and pulse shaping times. The results were used to create correction factors suitable for alpha- and beta-particle emission rate calibrations.
Applied Radiation and Isotopes


integral counting, dead time, multi-channel analyzer, MCA, radionuclide metrology


Fitzgerald, R. and King, L. (2020), Accurate Integral Counting Using Multi-channel Analyzers, Applied Radiation and Isotopes, [online], (Accessed March 4, 2024)
Created May 1, 2020, Updated June 22, 2020