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Question Realistic simulation of a HPGe detector 

Forum: Hits, Digitization and Pileup
Date: 14 Mar, 2015
From: Andrea Conti <Andrea Conti>

I am involved in a project of In-Situ gamma spectrometry of Co60 and Cs137 using a HPGe detector and Monte Carlo simulation of it.

We have the problem that the efficiency calculated through an MCNP simulation of the detector results to be much higher than the real efficieny of the instrument: for example for the 1.3325 MeV line of Co60 the full-energy-peak efficiency of MCNP is about 30% higher than that of the real instrument.

Somebody suggested that this should be due to the fact that the real efficiency of the instrument does not only depend on the energy ceded by the photon in the semiconductor, but also on the capacity of the instrument to effectively collect the generated charge and manage the signal, what can (reportedly) not be simulated with MCNP.

The question is: can Geant4 more accurately simulate the functioning of such a detector, including the drifting of the generated charge through the depleted zone in the p-n junction and maybe even something further relating the generation of the electric signal ? What capabilities does Geant4 offer, more than MCNP ? I've been a user of MCNP for a long time, but only doing criticality calculations.

Moreover: what about the digitization ? In the Application Developers Guide there is a paragraph about "Digitization", where it reads that the digitizer module can simulate ADC and/or TDC. But it is too vague: I don't understand what I can do and how. Isn't there some more detailed documentation ?

Thank you.

Andrea Conti

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