Exploration of Fourier based algorithms and detector designs for pulse shape discrimination

Hubbard, M.W.J.; Taggart, M.P. and Sellin, P.J. (2019). Exploration of Fourier based algorithms and detector designs for pulse shape discrimination. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, 930 pp. 64–73.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nima.2019.03.020


We investigate the performance of Fourier-based neutron/gamma Pulse Shape Discrimination (PSD) algorithms applied to plastic scintillators that are coupled to silicon photomultipliers (SiPM). The detector acquired data from a mixed fast neutron and gamma field which was emitted from an AmBe source. Pulses produced from the detector were fully digitised for off-line analysis with the algorithms. We describe the performance of two Fourier-based PSD algorithms, Fourier Gradient Analysis (FGA) and Fourier Area Analysis (FAA), and compare their performance to the Charge Comparison Method (CCM). To compare the algorithms’ PSD performance the figure of merit (FoM) was calculated at various energies for each of the algorithms. The CCM analysed the pulses in the time domain whereas the other two algorithms processed the pulses within the frequency domain. Moreover, the detector was tested with different acquisition record lengths, in order to determine any impact on algorithm performance. It was determined that the FAA algorithm provided the best overall performance achieving a FoM of 1.57(1) at 1 MeVee with a 1.6 µs record length. Furthermore, the detector was tested using different load resistors which allowed the decay time of the pulses to be optimised. The influence of SiPM pulse decay time on the performance of the PSD algorithms is also presented.

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