Doctoral Dissertations

Orcid ID

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Nuclear Engineering

Major Professor

Erik Lukosi

Committee Members

Madison Andrews, Jason Hayward, Eric Lukosi, Yuri Efremenko


In the first part of this dissertation, we cover the development of a diamond semiconductor alpha-tagging sensor for associated particle imaging to solve challenges with currently employed scintillators. The alpha-tagging sensor is a double-sided strip detector made from polycrystalline CVD diamond. The performance goals of the alpha-tagging sensor are 700-picosecond timing resolution and 0.5 mm spatial resolution. A literature review summarizes the methodology, goals, and challenges in associated particle imaging. The history and current state of alpha-tagging sensors, followed by the properties of diamond semiconductors are discussed to close the literature review. The materials and methods used to calibrate the detector readout, fabricate the sensor, perform simulations, take measurements, and conduct data analysis are discussed. The results of our simulations and measurements are described with challenges and interpretations. The first part of the dissertation is concluded with potential solutions to challenges with our diamond alpha-tagging sensor design, recommendations of work to help further verify or refute diamonds viability for alpha tagging in associated particle imaging.

In the second part of this dissertation, we cover the development of a high-purity germanium detector response function for the Los Alamos National Laboratory Detector Response Function Toolkit. The goal is to accurately model the pulse-height spectra measured by semiconductor radiation detectors. The literature review provides information on high-purity germanium radiation detectors and semiconductor charge transport kinematics. The components of the electronic readout and their effect on radiation measurements are discussed. The literature review ends with a discussion on different methods for building detector response functions. In the methods section, we explain our methodology for building detector response functions. This includes models of radiation transport, electrostatics, charge transport, and electronic readout components. Within the methods section, there are results from individual components to demonstrate their functionality. The results section is reserved for demonstrating the use of the detector response function as a whole. We provide the modeled pulse-height spectra for different radiation sources and user input parameters. These are compared to experimentally measured datasets. The second part of the dissertation concludes with a discussion of the benefits, drawbacks, and future improvements that could be made.

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