Amplifier – Ortec

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The amplifier is one of the most important components in a pulse processing system for applications in counting, timing, or pulse- amplitude (energy) spectroscopy. Normally, it is the amplifier that provides the pulse-shaping controls needed to optimize the performance of the analog electronics. Figure 1 shows typical amplifier usage in the various categories of pulse processing.
When the best resolution is needed in energy or pulse-height spectroscopy, a linear pulse-shaping amplifier is the right solution, as illustrated in Fig. 1(a). Such systems can acquire spectra at data rates up to 7,000 counts/s with no loss of resolution, or up to 86,000 counts/s with some compromise in resolution.
The linear pulse-shaping amplifier can also be used in simple pulse-counting applications, as depicted in Fig. 1(b). Amplifier output pulse widths range from 3 to 70 µs, depending on the selected shaping time constant. This width sets the dead time for counting events when utilizing an SCA, counter, and timer. To maintain dead time losses <10%, the counting rate is typically limited to <33,000 counts/s for the 3-µs pulse widths and proportionately lower if longer pulse widths have been selected.
Some detectors, such as photomultiplier tubes, produce a large enough output signal that the system shown in Fig. 1(d) can be used to count at a much higher rate. The pulse at the output of the fast timing amplifier usually has a width less than 20 ns. Consequently, maximum counting rates in excess of a few MHz are feasible without suffering more than 10% dead time losses.

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Ortec, founded in 1960, provides state of the art solutions in many areas of nuclear / spectroscopic measurements and detection. High-technology instrumentation is designed and manufactured by Ortec a...


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