A new approach to the determination of the Fano factor for semiconductor detectors

T. Papp, M. C. Lépy, J. Plagnard, G. Kalinka, E. Papp-Szabó

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Values of the Fano factor are widely scattered in the literature, indicating the difficulties in its determination. We chose to analyze both the escape peaks and parent peaks of Ge detector spectra where the parent peak penetration depth and the escape peak escape depth are much larger than the size of the incomplete charge collection region. Hence, the escape peaks are expected to be free of low-energy tailing as, although the actually deposited energy is low, it is deposited beyond the incomplete charge collection region. It was found that the product of electron-hole pair creation energy (ε) and the Fano factor (F) has an energy dependence at low energies, as is expected from electron transport theories. Although ε is expected to have its own energy dependence, if a reference value of 2.96 eV is assumed for e, then the Fano factor values varied between 0.059 and 0.083. The escape peak is less advantageous for Si, hence a different method was used for Si(Li) detectors. Assuming the reference value of 3.8 eV for ε, the Fano factor was found to be 0.063 at 5.9 keV x-ray energy. We consider the Fano factors reported here as upper limits, rather than the mean values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-111
Number of pages6
JournalX-Ray Spectrometry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Spectroscopy

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