SiPM’s Used to Detect Gamma in Harsh Environments

In 2006 a team comprised of C.J. Staples, W.G. Lawrence, J.F. Christan, and F.L. Augustine set out to determine whether there was an alternative to the traditional PMT or Geiger Counter in measuring gamma radiation in harsh environments.  Using what they called a solid-state photomultiplier (SSPM) which was the precursor to the silicon photomultiplier (SiPM) they concluded:

The CMOS-based SSPM provides a low-cost platform for integrated detector elements coupled to scintillation materials that can withstand harsh conditions, such as large magnetic fields. The SSPM detector can be applied to many imaging and detection applications, such as PET, SPECT, and direct gamma-camera applications, survey devices and rate-meters, digital dosimeter badges and portal scanning systems. The devices have a fast rise time, utilize inexpensive, high efficiency scintillation material with variable light output depending on the target application, and a low voltage operation that simplifies supporting electronics. Improving the SSPM DE, specifically the fill factor, and reducing the cross talk between pixels are key considerations in optimizing the design of SSPM devices.

Here is the formal paper:

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