Mitigation of the radioxenon memory effect in beta-gamma detector systems by deposition of thin film diffusion barriers on plastic scintillator




Fay, Alexander Gary

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The significance of the radioxenon memory effect in the context of the International Monitoring System of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is introduced as motivation for the project. Existing work regarding xenon memory effect reduction and thin film diffusion barriers is surveyed. Experimental techniques for radioxenon production and exposure, as well as for thin film deposition on plastic by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD), are detailed. A deposition rate of 76.5 nm min⁻¹ of SiO₂ is measured for specific PECVD parameters. Relative activity calculations show agreement within 5% between identically exposed samples counted on parallel detectors. Memory effect reductions of up to 59±1.8% for 900 nm SiO₂ films produced by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition and of up to 77±3.7% for 50 nm Al₂O₃ films produced by atomic layer deposition are shown. Future work is suggested for production of more effective diffusion barriers and expansion to testing in operational monitoring stations.



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