Description: This standard describes test procedures for amplifiers and preamplifiers that are used with semiconductor, scintillation, and proportional detectors in the spectrometry of ionizing radiation. It supersedes ANSI/IEEE Std 301-1976, IEEE Standard Test Procedures for Amplifiers and Preamplifiers for Semiconductor Radiation detectors for Ionizing Radiation. The title was changed because the same amplifiers used for semiconductor detectors are applicable to other types. In this standard, measuring procedures are given in greater detail because with modern amplifiers, perceived performance often depends on the details of measurement. Tests that are specific to amplifiers with time-variant pulse-shaping filters are not included, nor are tests for pile-up rejectors. Time-variant filters allow shorter pulse-shaping times than linear filters for the same signal-to-noise ratio, and pile-up rejectors block pulses that overlap earlier ones, allowing higher count rates for a given spectral-line resolution. Both techniques have the greatest application at very low energies because wide pulses must be used to optimize the SNR, and at high energies where detector artifacts cause low-side tailing of spectrum lines. The pulse width at 50% of peak amplitude is the main amplifier indicator of shaping time because this parameter best allows a performance comparison among different amplifiers. Compared with other parameters, this one is the easiest to measure accurately with an oscilloscope and pulse generator.
Oversight Committee: NPS/NI&D - Nuclear Instruments and Detectors
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