Available Technology

Hand-held, Fast-cooling Germanium-based Radiation Detection System

Detecting radioactive material with the greatest detection efficiency and resolution is realized with Germanium-based gamma-ray detectors. To attain the resolution, Ge semiconductors must be cooled to ~100K under vacuum. In laboratory spectroscopy this is accomplished through the use of liquid nitrogen which makes the detector stationary—too large and heavy for field use. Cooling is also accomplished in portable systems through electromechanical methods making the detector smaller and lighter, but can take 12 hours or more to attain the required temperature.

Patent Abstract: 

LLNL has developed a radiation detector that cools to operating temperatures in 1-2 hours using two separate cooling stages. The first cooling brings the instrument to operating temperature.

Technology Type(s): 
radiation detection
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
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