High energy gamma-ray spectroscopy with LaBr3 scintillation detectors
Lanthanum bromide scintillation detectors produce very high light outputs (∼60,000 ph/MeV) within a very short decay time (typically ∼20 ns) which means that high instantaneous currents can be generated in the photocathode and dynode chain of the photomultiplier tube (PMT) used for the scintillation readout. The net result is that signal saturation can occur long before the recommended PMT biasing conditions can be reached. In search of an optimized light readout system for LaBr3, we have tested and compared two different PMT configurations for detection of gamma-rays up to 15 MeV. This range was chosen as being appropriate for gamma-ray remote sensing and medium energy nuclear physics applications. The experiments were conducted at two facilities: the Laboratori Nazionali del Sud (LNS) in Catania, Italy  and the High Intensity Gamma-ray Source (HIγS) at Triangle University Nuclear Laboratory, in Durham, North Carolina, USA . The PMT configurations we have tested are (1) a standard dynode chain operated under-biased; (2) a 4-stage reduced chain operated at nominal inter-dynode bias. The results are that shortening the number of active stages, as in configuration (2), has advantages in preserving energy resolution and avoiding PMT saturation over a large energy range. However, the use of an under-biased PMT, configuration (1), can still be considered a satisfactory solution, at least in the case of PMTs manufactured by Photonis. The results of this study will be used in support of the Mercury Gamma-ray and Neutron Spectrometer (MGNS) on board of BepiColombo, the joint ESA/JAXA mission to Mercury, scheduled for launch in 2014. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Quarati, FGA; Owens, A; Dorenbos, P; De Haas, JTM; Benzoni, G; Blasi, N; Boiano, C; Brambilla, S; Camera, F; Alba, R; Bellia, G; Maiolino, C; Santonocito, D; Ahmed, M; Brown, N; Stave, S; Weller, HR; Wu, YK
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