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Title: Detecting ionizing radiation with polarized light
Author: Parsons, Steven
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 3601
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2017
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Several groups have demonstrated the potential of the Pockels effect in Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CZT) as a means to detect ionizing radiation. Migrating charge carriers are believed to generate the signal detected via the Pockels effect due to the distortions they create within the electric field, however trapped space charge beneath the cathode has been regularly observed which suggests that the signal amplitude is potentially dominated by a large dose element. In this work, the effects of electric field collapse at the location of charge carrier generation, rather than where space charge builds up, is demonstrated. This confirms the potential to apply the technique for imaging dose rate distributions. Charged coupled device (CCD) images representing the changes in electric field within the crystal were taken and the response to illumination from a collimated 1550 nm 4.5 mW IR laser and irradiation from 150 kVp X-rays measured. The data demonstrates that the signal acquired is a combination of both the local change in the electric field at the location where the carriers are being released/generated and an element caused by them becoming trapped, leading to space charge near the cathode. Whilst the presence of both components has been demonstrated, their time response to an IR pulse measured via a photo-diode is the same (within the 6 ms time limitation of the system). This means that when using a Pockels detection system the average change in field can be considered proportional only to the incident dose rate when working in the millisecond regime. In addition to finding the origins of the detected signal an investigation into the effects of doping a Cadmium Manganese Telluride crystal with vanadium was carried out to see whether the large increases in Pockels constant found in the literature when using doped CZT could be replicated. However, it was found that whilst there is a slight improvement in the constant and hence the sensitivity of the crystals it was not as significant as hoped. A fibre optic Mach-Zehnder interferometer has also been designed and built with the aim of developing further the results from a previous free-space concept demonstrator. In its present condition the effects of environment have been minimised but the detector system struggles with large attenuation losses due to repeated coupling into fibres and is currently not usable, however, increasing the power of the laser and trying to limit even further the free-space elements in the future should remedy this.
Supervisor: Lohstroh, Annika ; Shenton-Taylor, Caroline Sponsor: STFC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available