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Analysis of Nuclear Material by Alpha Spectroscopy with a Transition-Edge Microcalorimeter



Rob Horansky, Joel Ullom, James A. Beall, Gene C. Hilton, Kent D. Irwin, Leila R. Vale, Don Dry, Stephen Lamont, Clifford R. Rudy, Michael W. Rabin


We present measurements from a cryogenic microcalorimeter designed to detect alpha particles. The enhanced resolution of microcalorimeter alpha detectors will provide new capabilities for actinide analysis. We demonstrate a spectral resolution of 2.4 keV FWHM for 5.3 MeV alpha particles from a 210Po source. In addition, we present an alpha spectrum from 209Po showing the first direct measurement of decay into the 205Pb ground state. Finally, measurements of 100 keV gamma-rays from a Gd source show an ultimate alpha particle resolution of 159 eV to be possible and possibly providing an avenue for investigating ion energy loss mechanisms in bulk materials.
Journal of Low Temperature Physics


alpha spectroscopy, cryogenic detector, microcalorimeter


Horansky, R. , Ullom, J. , Beall, J. , Hilton, G. , Irwin, K. , Vale, L. , Dry, D. , Lamont, S. , Rudy, C. and Rabin, M. (2008), Analysis of Nuclear Material by Alpha Spectroscopy with a Transition-Edge Microcalorimeter, Journal of Low Temperature Physics, [online], (Accessed June 22, 2024)


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Created January 25, 2008, Updated October 12, 2021