Efficiency calibration of high-purity germanium detector using Monte Carlo simulations including coincidence-summing corrections: volume source case

  • M. Konstantinova
  • D. Germanas
  • A. Gudelis
  • A. Plukis
Keywords: HPGe detector, efficiency calibration, MCNP6, coincidence-summing correction


The gamma-ray spectrometry by the instrumentality of Ge detectors is used for the detection of low activity environmental samples of different geometry (soil samples, air filters with aerosols, milk powder, etc.). Such measurements require separate calibration of the detector. The high purity germanium (HPGe) gamma-ray spectrometer of GC2520 series was used for experiments. For the efficiency calibration, three cylindrical containers filled with different 60Co water solution levels were used, and the gamma-ray coincidence summing was modelled using MCNP6. The dimensions of the pure germanium crystal, provided by Canberra, were used for the simulations. The true coincidence summing takes place when two or more gamma quanta, which are emitted in a cascade from an excited nucleus, are detected within the resolving time of the detector. However, there is often a mismatch between the simulated and experimental efficiencies. The experimentally obtained and modelled spectra were compared: a good consistency of experimental and modelled results allows investigating the volume sources. During the simulation it was found that the factors affecting the accuracy of modelling are the thickness of the dead layer, crystal dimensions and the thickness of the Al detector cap. The analysis allows measuring the radionuclides activity concentration of samples placed in the containers with different filling heights having only standard shape calibration sources. The obtained accuracy is sufficient to fulfil criteria of 5–10% for such type of simulation to be applied for measurements of real samples in standard BURK-60 containers of various sample filling heights.
Environmental Physics