Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
In nuclear science experiments it is usually necessary to determine the type of radiation, its energy and direction with considerable accuracy. The detection of neutrons and discriminating them from gamma rays is particularly difficult. A popular method of doing so is to measure characteristics intrinsic to the pulse shape of each radiation type in order to perform pulse-shape discrimination (PSD).
Historically, PSD capable systems have been designed with two approaches in mind: specialized analog circuitry, or digital signal processing (DSP). In this work we propose a PSD capable circuit topology using techniques from both the analog and DSP domains. We call this circuit topology a mixed-mode PSD system. We model this mixed-mode PSD system using Verilog-A and simulate its performance using Cadence Spectre with real detector waveform data as the input. We show that our mixed-mode PSD system is capable of discriminating between neutrons and gamma rays at least as well as state of the art DSP based systems while offering some of the advantages of both analog based and DSP based systems.
Roger Chamberlain Lee Sobotka Ron Cytron