ASTM E1250 - 10

    Standard Test Method for Application of Ionization Chambers to Assess the Low Energy Gamma Component of Cobalt-60 Irradiators Used in Radiation-Hardness Testing of Silicon Electronic Devices

    Active Standard ASTM E1250 | Developed by Subcommittee: E10.07

    Book of Standards Volume: 12.02


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    ASTM E1250

    Significance and Use

    Although Co-60 nuclei only emit monoenergetic gamma rays at 1.17 and 1.33 MeV, the finite thickness of sources, and encapsulation materials and other surrounding structures that are inevitably present in irradiators can contribute a substantial amount of low-energy gamma radiation, principally by Compton scattering (1, 2). In radiation-hardness testing of electronic devices this low-energy photon component of the gamma spectrum can introduce significant dosimetry errors for a device under test since the equilibrium absorbed dose as measured by a dosimeter can be quite different from the absorbed dose deposited in the device under test because of absorbed dose enhancement effects (3, 4). Absorbed dose enhancement effects refer to the deviations from equilibrium absorbed dose caused by non-equilibrium electron transport near boundaries between dissimilar materials.

    The ionization chamber technique described in this method provides an easy means for estimating the importance of the low-energy photon component of any given irradiator type and configuration.

    When there is an appreciable low-energy spectral component present in a particular irradiator configuration, special experimental techniques should be used to ensure that dosimetry measurements adequately represent the absorbed dose in the device under test. (See Practice E1249.)

    1. Scope

    1.1 Low energy components in the photon energy spectrum of Co-60 irradiators lead to absorbed dose enhancement effects in the radiation-hardness testing of silicon electronic devices. These low energy components may lead to errors in determining the absorbed dose in a specific device under test. This method covers procedures for the use of a specialized ionization chamber to determine a figure of merit for the relative importance of such effects. It also gives the design and instructions for assembling this chamber.

    1.2 This method is applicable to measurements in Co-60 radiation fields where the range of exposure rates is 7 × 10 6 to 3 × 102 C kg 1 s1 (approximately 100 R/h to 100 R/s). For guidance in applying this method to radiation fields where the exposure rate is >100 R/s, see Appendix X1.

    Note 1—See Terminology E170 for definition of exposure and its units.

    1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

    1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    E170 Terminology Relating to Radiation Measurements and Dosimetry

    E668 Practice for Application of Thermoluminescence-Dosimetry (TLD) Systems for Determining Absorbed Dose in Radiation-Hardness Testing of Electronic Devices

    E1249 Practice for Minimizing Dosimetry Errors in Radiation Hardness Testing of Silicon Electronic Devices Using Co-60 Sources


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 31.020 (Electronic components in general)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 32111700(Semiconductor devices)


    DOI: 10.1520/E1250-10

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