Application of PHOTON simulation software on calibration of HPGe detectors
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One of the major difficulties in gamma spectrometry of voluminous environmental samples is the efficiency calibration of the detectors used for the measurement. The direct measurement of different calibration sources, containing isolated gamma-ray emitters within the energy range of interest, and subsequent fitting to a parametric function, is the most accurate and at the same time most complicated and time consuming method of efficiency calibration. Many other methods are developed in time, some of them using Monte Carlo simulation. One of such methods is a dedicated and user-friendly program PHOTON, developed to simulate the passage of photons through different media with different geometries. This program was used for efficiency calibration of three HPGe detectors, readily used in Laboratory for Environment and Radiation Protection of the Institute for Nuclear Sciences Vinca, Belgrade, Serbia. The simulation produced the spectral response of the detectors for fixed energy and for di...fferent sample geometries and matrices. Thus obtained efficiencies were compared to the values obtained by the measurement of the secondary reference materials and to the results obtained by GEANT4 simulation, in order to establish whether the simulated values agree with the experimental ones. To further analyze the results, a realistic measurement of the materials provided by the IAEA within different interlaboratory proficiency tests, was performed. The activities obtained using simulated efficiencies were compared to the reference values provided by the organizer. A good agreement in the mid energy section of the spectrum was obtained, while for low energies the lack of some parameters in the simulation libraries proved to produce unacceptable discrepancies. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.