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Digital Pulse-Processing Techniques for X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Semiconductor Detectors


Over the last decade, digital pulse-processing (DPP) electronics have been widely proposed and used for new generation x- and gamma-ray spectrometers. DPP systems, based on direct digitizing and processing of detector signals, lead to better results than the traditional analog pulse-processing electronics in terms of stability, flexibility, reproducibility, energy resolution, throughput, and dead time. In this chapter, we will review the principles of operation of conventional analog electronic chains for x- and gamma-ray semiconductor detectors, with special emphasis on the benefits of the digital approach. The characteristics of a new real-time DPP system, developed by our group, are discussed in depth. Finally, we present some original results on cadmium telluride (CdTe) and germanium (Ge) detectors, highlighting the excellent performance of the DPP system both at low and high counting rate environments (up to 1.1 Mcps).