Silicon Photomultiplier Thesis Statements

Recommended Citation

Preston, Rhys Mitchell, Neutron detection using scintillators with silicon photomultiplier readout and digital pulse processing, Doctor of Philosophy thesis, Centre for Medical Radiation Physics, University of Wollongong, 2014.


The introduction of the silicon photomultiplier (SiPM) has had a significant impact on the field of scintillator-based radiation detection. The SiPM provides photosensitivity and gain performance similar to that of traditional photomultiplier tubes, combined with the small size, low cost and ruggedness associated with solid-state technology. Alongside recent advances in organic scintillators and high-speed digital technologies, SiPMs offer the prospect of developing light-weight and reliable neutron detection technologies for novel industrial and security applications.

This thesis describes the development of radiation detectors using scintillators with SiPM readout and digital pulse processing (DPP); a particular focus being the use of pulse shape discrimination (PSD) to separately measure fast-neutrons and gammarays in mixed radiation fields. Digital algorithms were developed for the effective handling of the SiPM signals, with a genetic algorithm used to automatically optimise the filters used for pulse shape analysis. Efficient PSD was demonstrated down to electron-equivalent energies of 127 keV using a stilbene organic singlecrystal, and 391 keV using a novel EJ-299-34 plastic scintillator. The DPP techniques were implemented on an embedded digital signal processor (DSP), allowing detection and analysis to be carried out in real-time.


Optical detection is reliable in intrinsically characterizing partial discharges (PDs). Because of the great volume and high-level power supply of the optical devices that can satisfy the requirements in photosensitivity, optical PD detection can merely be used in laboratory studies. To promote the practical application of the optical approach in an actual power apparatus, a silicon photomultiplier (SiPM)-based PD sensor is introduced in this paper, and its basic properties, which include the sensitivity, pulse resolution, correlation with PD severity, and electromagnetic (EM) interference immunity, are experimentally evaluated. The stochastic phase-resolved PD pattern (PRPD) for three typical insulation defects are obtained by SiPM PD detector and are compared with those obtained using a high-frequency current transformer (HFCT) and a vacuum photomultiplier tube (PMT). Because of its good performances in the above aspects and its additional advantages, such as the small size, low power supply, and low cost, SiPM offers great potential in practical optical PD monitoring. View Full-Text

Keywords: optical detection; silicon photomultiplier; partial discharge; gas insulation; PD monitoringoptical detection; silicon photomultiplier; partial discharge; gas insulation; PD monitoring

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