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The important performance parameters of a semiconductor X-ray energy spectrometer and the standardized techniques for measuring and documenting most of the related specifications are described.
The strong coupling between performance parameters such as energy resolution, detector size (efficiency), count-rate capability, and general spectral integrity (tailing, etc.) is detailed. In particular, the conflict between the need to improve energy resolution by increasing the amplifier shaping time constants (that is, minimizing field-effect transistor noise) and the need to improve count-rate capability by decreasing amplifier pulse shaping time constants are examined thoroughly.
Since, as is shown, most performance parameters can be improved at the expense of other characteristics, the importance of providing enough test data to determine the trade-off cost involved in optimizing a particular variable is emphasized.
semiconductors (materials), semiconductor devices, X-ray spectrometers, X-ray analysis, preamplifiers, amplifiers, resolution, performance
Manager, Semiconductor Research and Development, ORTEC, Inc., Oak Ridge, Tenn.