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Method for characterizing radioisotopes activity

Alpha spectrometryLinear spectral unmixingMinimization algorithmsNuclear materialsRadioactive materials


Alpha-decaying isotopes emit alpha particles with discrete energies. Because the measured energy peak distributions may overlap due to the limited attainable energy resolution of Silicon detectors, an approach is proposed to overcome the common problem of ambiguity in radioisotopes identification and to provide a more accurate and sensitive determination of their activity.

Technical features

Method for characterizing the energy spectrum of particles emitter radioisotopes, in particular alpha particles and apparatus thereof. The instrumental response function is determined and used to calculate the spectrum of each alpha emitter found in the literature as it would be measured by the spectrometer, then the measured alphaparticle spectrum is considered as a linear combination of such curves.This method allows unequivocal identification of the radioisotopes, an accurate and sensitive evaluation of radioisotopes activities, besides a faster computation time with respect to the commonly used non-linear minimization methods.

Possible Applications

  • Nuclear and radioactive material characterization;
  • Radioactive waste characterization;
  • Nuclear safeguards;
  • Environmental measurements;
  • Radiation protection.


  • Unequivocal identification of the radioisotopes in the sample;
  • Accurate and sensitive evaluation of radioisotopes activities;
  • Lower associated uncertainties;
  • Faster computation time with respect to the commonly used non-linear minimization methods.