Development of a wide-field EMCCD camera-based alpha-particle imaging system

Reza Sohbati*, Myungho Kook, Mayank Jain, Kristina J. Thomsen, Andrew S. Murray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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We demonstrate a wide-field alpha-particle imaging system based on the detection of alpha-induced scintillation light from ZnS:Ag screen using an EMCCD camera. We develop an efficient image processing algorithm to remove cosmic and thermal noise and to locate alpha particle interactions in EMCCD images. This algorithm is particularly suited to imaging low-activity samples where long image acquisition periods entail a large number of frames with no detected alpha particle. Our system has a relative counting efficiency of ∼50 % compared to a PMT-based alpha counter. It can detect alpha particles at a resolution of <480 µm over an imaging area of ∼45 × 45 mm. We demonstrate the performance of this system by imaging a granite sample. Correlation between the resulting alpha image and the micro XRF-determined element map demonstrates that most of the alpha activity in our sample is held in dark-coloured Ba-rich veins and inclusions at mineral grain boundaries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112234
JournalMeasurement: Journal of the International Measurement Confederation
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • (EM-)CCD camera
  • Alpha particle imaging
  • Cosmic noise
  • Geochemistry
  • Geochronology
  • Thermal noise


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