Influence of background characteristics on the optimal sample filling height in gamma-ray spectrometry

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  • FOI - Swedisch Defense Research Agency - Division of Defense and Security

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The minimum detectable activity (MDA) for gamma spectrometric measurements was studied as a function of filling height for two detectors having different background characteristics and for two sample matrices: a water sample with a low content of natural radionuclides, and zircon sand, with high activities of uranium and thorium. The zircon sand is also a material in which the self-attenuation of low-energy gamma photons will be high. The results show that for the water sample it is always favourable to completely fill the sample container. However, due to the inherent content of naturally occurring radionuclides in the zircon sand the MDA may not necessarily improve with the filling height, since an increased amount of sample will increase the background in the spectrum as well.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-347
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2020


  • Gamma spectrometry, Detection limit, Minimum detectable activity, MDA, Optimisation, Filling height

ID: 7059440