Development of a three-layer phoswich alpha-beta-gamma imaging detector

Seiichi Yamamoto*, Hiroyuki Ishibashi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


For radiation monitoring at the sites of such nuclear power plant accidents as Fukushima Daiichi, radiation detectors are needed not only for gamma photons but also for alpha and beta particles because some nuclear fission products emit beta particles and gamma photons and some nuclear fuels contain plutonium that emits alpha particles. In some applications, imaging detectors are required to detect the distribution of plutonium particles that emit alpha particles and radiocesium in foods that emits beta particles and gamma photons. To solve these requirements, we developed an imaging detector that can measure the distribution of alpha and beta particles as well as gamma photons. The imaging detector consists of three-layer scintillators optically coupled to each other and to a position sensitive photomultiplier tube (PSPMT). The first layer, which is made of a thin plastic scintillator (decay time: ~5 ns), detects alpha particles. The second layer, which is made of a thin Gd2SiO5 (GSO) scintillator with 1.5 mol% Ce (decay time: 35 ns), detects beta particles. The third layer made of a thin GSO scintillator with 0.4 mol% Ce (decay time: 70 ns) detects gamma photons. Using pulse shape discrimination, the images of these layers can be separated. The position information is calculated by the Anger principle from 8×8 anode signals from the PSPMT. The images for the alpha and beta particles and the gamma photons are individually formed by the pulse shape discriminations for each layer. We detected alpha particle images in the first layer and beta particle images in the second layer. Gamma photon images were detected in the second and third layers. The spatial resolution for the alpha and beta particles was ~1.25 mm FWHM and less than 2 mm FWHM for the gamma photons. We conclude that our developed alpha-beta-gamma imaging detector is promising for imaging applications not only for the environmental monitoring of radionuclides but also for medical and molecular imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-134
Number of pages6
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jun 11
Externally publishedYes


  • Alpha particle
  • Beta particle
  • Gamma photons
  • Imaging detector
  • Phoswich
  • Simultaneously

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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