A Comparison of the Effects of Neutron and Gamma Radiation in Silicon Photomultipliers

B. Biro, G. David, A. Fenyvesi, J. S. Haggerty, J. Kierstead, E. J. Mannel, T. Majoros, J. Molnar, F. Nagy, S. Stoll, B. Ujvari, C. L. Woody

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The effects of radiation damage in silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) from gamma rays have been measured and compared with the damage produced by neutrons. Several types of multipixel photon counters from Hamamatsu were exposed to gamma rays and neutrons at the Solid State Gamma Ray Irradiation Facility (SSGRIF) at the Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Institute for Nuclear Research (Atomki) in Debrecen, Hungary. The gamma ray exposures ranged from 1 krad to 1 Mrad and the neutron exposures ranged from 108 to 1012 n/cm2. The main effect of gamma ray damage is an increase in the noise and leakage current in the irradiated devices, similar to what is seen from neutron damage, but the level of damage is considerably less at comparable high levels of exposure. In addition, the damage from gamma rays saturates after a few hundred krad, while the damage from neutrons shows no sign of saturation, suggestive of different damage mechanisms in the two cases. The change in optical absorption in the window material of the SiPMs due to radiation was also measured. This paper was carried out in order to evaluate the use of SiPMs for particle physics applications with moderate levels of radiation exposures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8732368
Pages (from-to)1833-1839
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019



  • Calorimeters
  • EIC
  • gamma rays
  • multipixel photon counter (MPPC)
  • neutrons
  • radiation damage
  • silicon photomultiplier (SiPM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

Biro, B., David, G., Fenyvesi, A., Haggerty, J. S., Kierstead, J., Mannel, E. J., Majoros, T., Molnar, J., Nagy, F., Stoll, S., Ujvari, B., & Woody, C. L. (2019). A Comparison of the Effects of Neutron and Gamma Radiation in Silicon Photomultipliers. IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science, 66(7), 1833-1839. [8732368]. https://doi.org/10.1109/TNS.2019.2921102