Volume 5, 2021

Radiation Physics

SIMULATION OF RADIOLUMINESCENCE INDUCED BY ALPHA PARTICLES IN THE AIR BY THE MONTE CARLO METHOD

Ioana Lalau, Mihail-Razvan Ioan

Pages: 37-41

DOI: 10.21175/RadProc.2021.07

In the last period the alpha-induced luminescence of air was proposed to be utilized for remote detection of alpha emitting from radioactive waste sources or for rapid radon detection. The aim of this study is to investigate the possibility to discriminate between the radioluminescence signal and Cherenkov photons due to the simultaneous presence of alpha and beta sources in the same container. Alpha particles induce radioluminescence when absorbed in air. The photons are emitted in the near ultraviolet region by nitrogen molecules excited by secondary electrons. The accurate knowledge of the radioluminescence yield is of the utmost importance for novel radiation detection applications utilizing this effect. On the other hand, the energetic electrons from the beta spectra can produce Cherenkov radiation in air in the same wavelengths as the photons emitted by deexcitation of nitrogen molecules. When alpha and beta emitting radionuclides are simultaneously present in sample, the detector must be able to discriminate between these contributions. We determine the number of photons produced per unit area (photon flux) by deexcitation of nitrogen molecules and also the number of photons in the same wavelength range produced by beta particles when passing through air.
  1. Radiation oncology physics – a handbook for teachers and students, E. B. Podgorsak, Ed., Vienna, Austria: IAEA, 2005.
    Retrieved from: https://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1196_web.pdf
    Retrieved on: Jul. 14, 2021
  2. M. J. Berger, J. S. Coursey, M. A. Zucker, and J. Chang, Stopping-power and range tables for electrons, protons, and helium ions , NIST Standard Reference Database 124, NIST, Gaithersburg, MD, USA, 1998.
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.18434/T4NC7P
  3. W. Huggins, L. Huggins, “On the spectrum of the spontaneous luminous radiation of radium at ordinary temperatures,” in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, vol. 72, no. 477-486, pp. 196 – 199, 1904.
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspl.1903.0038
  4. T. Waldenmaier, “Spectral resolved measurement of the nitrogen fluorescence yield in air induced by electrons”, Ph.D. Dissertation, Forschungzentrum Karlsruhe, Germany, 2006.
    Retrieved from: https://inis.iaea.org/search/search.aspx?orig_q=RN:37092315
    Retrieved on: Jul. 14, 2021
  5. G. Knoll, Radiation Detection and Measurement, New York, US: J. Wiley & Sons, 2010.
  6. T. Waldenmaier, “Spectral resolved measurement of the nitrogen fluorescence yield in air induced by electrons,” Dissertation, Wissenschaftliche Berichte FZKA, Germany, 2006.
    Retrieved from: https://inis.iaea.org/search/search.aspx?orig_q=RN:37092315
    Retrieved on: Jul. 14, 2021
  7. A. N. Bunner, “Cosmic Ray Detection by Atmospheric Fluorescence”, Ph.D. dissertation, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA, 1967.
    Retrieved from: https://inspirehep.net/literature/1087629
    Retrieved on: Jul.14, 2021
  8. T. Waldenmaier, J. Blümer, H. Klages, “Spectral resolved measurement of the nitrogen fluorescence emissions in air induced by electrons”, Astroparticle Physics, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 205 – 222, 2008.
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.astropartphys.2008.01.004
  9. A. Lofthus, P. H. Krupenie, “The spectrum of molecular nitrogen”, Journal of Physical and Chemical Reference Data, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 113 – 307, 1977.
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1063/1.555546
  10. J. Sand, “Alpha Radiation Detection via Radioluminescence of Air,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland, 2016.
    Retrieved from: https://cris.tuni.fi/ws/portalfiles/portal/9072621/sand_1449.pdf
    Retrieved on: Jul. 14, 2021
  11. M. M. Fraga et al., “Temperature-dependent quenching of UV fluorescence of N2,” Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A, vol. 597, no. 1, pp. 75 – 82, 2008.
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nima.2008.08.046
  12. M. Zubek, “Excitation of the C 3Πu state of N2 by electron impact in the near threshold region,” Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, vol. 27, no. 3, p. 573, 1994.
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/0953-4075/27/3/021
  13. J. T. Fons, R. S. Schappe, C. C. Lin, “Electron-impact excitation of the second positive band system (C 3Πu → B 3Π g) and the C 3Πu electronic state of the nitrogen molecule,” Physical Review A, vol. 53, no. 4, pp. 2239 – 2247, 1996.
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevA.53.2239
  14. G. Poparić, M. Vićić, D. Belić, “Vibrational excitation of the C3Πu state of N2 by electron impact,” Chemical Physics, vol. 240, no. 1-2, pp. 283 – 289, 1999.
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0301-0104(98)00383-8
  15. F. Blanco, F. Arqueros, “The role of secondary electrons in some experiments determining fluorescence emission from nitrogen C 3Π u levels,” Physics Letters A, vol. 345, no. 4-6, pp. 355 – 361, 2005.
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physleta.2005.07.059
  16. Y. Itikawa, “Cross sections for electron collisions with nitrogen molecules,” Journal of Physical and Chemical Reference Data, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 31 – 53, 2006.
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1063/1.1937426
  17. A. Ferrari, P.R. Sala, A. Fassò, J. Ranft, FLUKA: a multi-particle transport code, Report CERN-2005-10, INFN/TC_05/11, SLAC-R-773, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland, 2005.
    Retrieved from: https://www.slac.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/getdoc/slac-r-773.pdf
    Retrieved on: Jul.14, 2021
  18. T.T. Böhlen et al., “The FLUKA Code: Developments and Challenges for High Energy and Medical Applications”, Nuclear Data Sheets, vol. 120, 211- 214, 2014.
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nds.2014.07.049
  19. V. Vlachoudis, “FLAIR: A Powerful but User Friendly Graphical Interface for FLUKA”, in Proc. Int. Conf. On Mathematics, Computational Methods & Reactor Physics (M&C) , Saratoga Springs, New York, USA, 2009.
    Retrieved from: https://flair.web.cern.ch/flair/doc/Flair_MC2009.pdf
    Retrieved on: Jul.14, 2021
  20. T. Sato, “Analytical Model for Estimating the Zenith Angle Dependence of Terrestrial Cosmic Ray Fluxes”, PLOS ONE, vol. 11, no. 8, 2016.
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0160390
  21. T. Sato, “Analytical model for estimating terrestrial cosmic ray fluxes nearly anytime and anywhere in the world: Extension of PARMA/EXPACS”, PLOS ONE, vol. 10, no. 12, 2015.
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0144679
  22. EXPACS version 4.10, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Ibaraki, Japan
    Retrieved from: http://phits.jaea.go.jp/expacs/
    Retrieved from: Jul. 14, 2021
Ioana Lalau, Mihail-Razvan Ioan, "Simulation of radioluminescence induced by alpha particles in the air by the monte carlo method", RAD Conf. Proc, vol. 5, 2021, pp. 37-41, http://doi.org/10.21175/RadProc.2021.07