J.W. King, M.D. Shah, C.M. Marianno, S.P. Khatri, S.S. Chirayath, “Computational Evaluation of Novel Beta Radiation Probe using Integrated Circuits”, SN Applied Sciences, 3, 386 (2021).
Researchers at Texas A&M University (TAMU) have designed the radiation integrated circuit (RIC) for deployment as a new radiation detection system. Most integrated circuits are susceptible to radiation-induced failures, and decades of research have gone into solving this problem. Research at TAMU has led to a novel integrated circuit design that utilizes both radiation-hardened areas (RHAs) and radiation-sensitive areas (RSAs) to take advantage of these failures. The RSAs are susceptible to charged particle interactions, allowing the RIC to detect alpha and beta particles. However, beta particles are more penetrating compared to alpha particles, resulting in a lower interaction probability for beta particles incident on a bare RIC. In any material, the higher the beta energy, the deeper the beta particle can penetrate; therefore, the use of a wedge-shaped attenuator for beta particle detection not only increases interaction probability, but also provides the capability to perform maximum beta energy discrimination in the field. The objective of this research was to optimize the design of the RIC. Monte Carlo N-particle radiation transport code (MCNP) simulations assessed the beta particle detection and maximum energy discrimination performance of plate glass, borosilicate (Pyrex®) glass, acrylic (Lucite®), and natural rubber attenuators. In this proof-of-concept analysis, natural rubber was observed to be the optimal attenuating material for the beta probe with respect to maximum energy discrimination capability and weight, but all materials considered proved to be good candidates. The results of this study are promising and indicate the potential to achieve maximum beta particle energy discrimination of 50 keV using a wedged, natural rubber attenuator on the RIC.