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Патент USA US3061734

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Oct. 30, 1962
3,061,724
R. W. REICH
RADIATION DETECTION DEVICE
Filed June 10, 1958
FIG. I
F163
F|G.2
FIG. 8
I22
we;
132/
/50
INVENTOR.
ROBERT Z44 RE/CH
BY ‘0am Walla
@TTORNEY
United States Patent 0 ""ice
1
3,051,724
Patented Oct. 30, 1952
2
cut away to show a suitable schematic arrangement of
3,061,724
RADIATION DETECTION DEVICE
‘elements therein;
Robert Walter Reich, Rotackerstrasse 2,
Freibnrg irn Breisgau, Germany
FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the device of FIG. 1 look
ing in the direction of the arrows, with the wall at the
Filed June 10, 1958, Ser. No. 741,038
11 Claims. (Cl. 250-715)
left of FIG. 1 cut away;
FIG. 3 shows an end elevation partly cut away and
partly in section of another embodiment of the housing
This invention relates to radiation detection instru
utilized in the invention;
ments. More particularly, it relates to a radiation detec
FIG. 4 shows an elevational view partly in section of
tion device which is relatively simple in construction and 10 a physical arrangement of an embodiment of a radiation
principle of operation.
sensitive element in the invention; and
There are many known devices for detecting and meas
FIGS. 5 through 8 show schematic diagrams of differ
uring the intensity of X-ray, alpha, beta and gamma
ent examples of circuits which can be used in the inven
radiation, and the like. These devices may be in the
tion.
form of geiger-miiller counters, proportional counters, 15 Referring now more particularly to the embodiment
ionization chambers, ?lm badges, etc.
depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2, housing 10 may be of cylin
All of these devices are either quite complex in their
drical con?guration such as a pillbox and may consist
construction thereby necessitating great expense in their
of relatively strong and rigid material which is trans
manufacture and maintenance and/or require a high
parent to radiation such as a suitable plastic or a metal
degree of technical skill in their operation and interpre 20 such as aluminum. Contained within housing 10‘ are an
tation of their indications. Thus, such known instruments
oscillator circuit 12 wherein the active element or trans
essentially are utilized and/ or understood by experts.
lating device therein may be photoresponsive electron
However, it is necessary to provide a suitable radia
discharge device or photoresponsive semiconductor device
tion detection instrument for laymen. Such an instru
such as a photodiode or a phototransistor. In the em
ment should require no technical skill and knowledge for 25 bodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the phosphor layer is
its operation, but should be a simple device to warn its
not shown, it being combined in the schematic element
bearer when he is in the vicinity of harmful radiation.
12 depicting the oscillator circuit. The output of the
The instrument should be of small size so that it may be
oscillator circuit is developed across a magnetic coil des
readily carried on the person ‘and should be capable of
ignated by numeral 14. Operatively associated with coil
giving an indication of dangerous radiation without re
14 is a pivotally disposed hammer 16 which is recipro
quiring thought or an interpretation of its indications,
cally actuated due to the alternate magnetization and de
i.e., when a Warning should be given, the bearer’s senses
magnetization of coil 14. During its reciprocal actua
should be caused to react.
tion, the end of hammer 16 strikes the inner surface of
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to pro
member 18 which may suitably be spherical or hemi
vide a radiation detector which is a simple device in 35 spherical such as a shell kernel so that a buzzing sound
construction and operation and which is suitable for
is presented to the car. A clip 21 is provided so that
use by a non~expert.
It is another object of the invention to provide a radia
the device can be worn as a fountain pen or like struc
ture.
tion detector in accordance with the preceding object
> In FIGS. 3 and 4 there is shown suitable arrangements
which provides a warning to the senses of the bearer in 40 [for e?iciently utilizing the luminescence of the phosphor
the presence of harmful radiation.
Generally speaking, in accordance with the invention,
in the invention. For example, in FIG. 3 there is shown
an alternate con?guration of the housing wherein an arm
there is provided a radiation detection device comprising
ate pro?le is presented. The housing 22 has coated on
a housing which contains therein a phosphor that emits
the inner wall thereof a layer 22 of a suitable phosphor.
45
light when it is subjected to radiation such as gamma,
With the con?guration of FIG. 3, the light emitted from
X-ray, alpha, beta and the like. A photoresponsive trans
lating device such as a photoconductive semiconductor
diode or transistor is disposed within the housing so as to
phosphor layer 22 upon its subjection to radiation is con
verged onto the surface of the photoresponsive device 24,
such as a photoelectric cell, a semiconductor photodiode
receive the light, such light actuating it into conductivity.
or a phototransistor. To aid in such convergence and
The photoresponsive translating device is connected to be 50 focusing, a convex lens may be provided on the photo
an active element in an oscillator circuit.
A source of
direct current potential is provided, this source being
coupled to the oscillator circuit. Thus, when the trans
responsive device. Alternately as shown in FIG. 4, the
phosphor layer 22 may be applied directly to the glass
of the photoresponsive electron discharge device or to
lating device is subjected to the level of light required
the relatively transparent encapsulation of the photo
55
to actuate it, the oscillator circuit becomes operative and
responsive semiconductor device. Similarly as with the
converts the direct current voltage applied thereto from
arrangement of FIG. 3, a lens of suitable curvature may
the potential source to an ampli?ed alternating current
be provided to focus the luminescence from the phosphor
voltage of a suitable frequency. Such generated alternat
onto the photoresponsive device. The phosphor may be
ing current voltage is utilized to actuate means for pro
applied to its underlying support by methods well known
viding. a readily detectable indication. For example, the
in the art and no detailed description of such application
last named means may include an output coil having a
magnetic core which when magnetized by the alternating
is deemed to be necessary.
‘
Since it is intended with the invention to be able to
current ?owing therethrough actuates a buzzer such as
detect any type of radiation that may be present because
a bell and hammer assembly.
of nuclear reactions or otherwise, it is necessary that the
For a better understanding of the invention, together 65 phosphor layer contain a mixture of phosphors which will
with other and further objects thereof, reference is had
luminesce in response to any and all different types of ra
to the following description taken in connection with
the accompanying drawings, and its scope will be pointed
diation, viz., alpha, beta, gamma, X-ray and the like. For
example, for alpha particle, beta particle and proton de
out in the appended claims.
tection, there can be utilized a phosphor such as the
In the accompanying drawing, FIG. 1 is an end ele 70 hexagonal-ZnSzAg or hex-Zns: [Zn] as disclosed for this
vational view of an embodiment of the invention, partly
purpose on page 7466 of “An Introduction to Lumines
3,061,724
.
_
.
3
,
cence of Solids,” by Humbolt W. Leverenz, 1950, pub
lished by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Another suitable phos
phor for detecting alpha particles is a nickel-killed ZnS
phosphor as described above. For a discussion of the
e?ect of the addition of impurities to phosphors, see the
above-mentioned text by Leverenz, page 333 et seq. Thal
hum-activated hexagonal zinc sul?de may also be utilized
to detect both alpha and beta radiation as may be utilized
pure monoclinic naphthalene to detect beta radiation.
Single crystal naphthalene may also be utilized to detect 10
gamma radiation as disclosed on page 425 of the afore
mentioned Leverenz text as may also be utilized mono
clinic anthracene for the same purpose. Phosphors which
may be utilized to detect neutrons are such phosphors as
and coil 66, resistance 70 being shunted by a capacitance
72 and coil 66 being shunted by a capacitance 74. Base
electrode 54 is connected to the negative terminal of bat
tery 58 through a resistance 76.
In the operation of the circuit of FIG. 6 similar to that
of FIG. 5, the alternating voltage generated through the
oscillator action thereof is applied to output magnetic coil
68, the coil as a result thereof causing the periodic strik
ing of bell 78 "by hammer 80.
In FIG. 7, there is shown another embodiment of the
circuit in accordance with the invention. In this circuit
the base electrode 84 of a ?rst transistor 82 is connected
to the negative terminal of a minitaure battery 100 through
a semiconductor photodiiode 90. The emitter electrode
disclosed on page 468 of the above referred to Leverenz 15 86 is connected directly to the positive terminal of bat
tery 100. The collector electrode 88 is connected to the
text. To detect thermal neutrons, there may be utilized
negative terminal of battery 100 through a resistance 92.
The output at collector 92 is coupled to the base electrode
104 of a transistor 102 through a capacitance 94, base
are among the most photosensitive are indium antimonide
and cadmium sul?de, the latter material also being very 20 electrode 104 being connected to the negative terminal of
battery 100 through a resistance 96. The emitter elec
sensitive to X-rays.
trode 106 of transistor 102 is connected directly to the
Referring now to FIG. 5, there is shown an example
positive terminal of battery 100 and the collector electrode
of an oscillator circuit comprising a phototransistor which
108 is connected to the negative terminal of battery 100
may be utilized in accordance with the invention. ‘ In
FIG. 5, phototransistor 30 comprises an emitter electrode 25 through magnetic coil 110. The output at collector 108
is fed back to the base. electrode 84 of transistor 82
32, a base electrode 34, and a collector electrode 36. A
through a capacitance 98 and photodiode 90.
battery 38 which may be a miniature primary battery or
In operation, at a given threshold of light intensity, pho
a miniature storage battery, for example, a mercury bat
todiode 90 is rendered conductive whereby transistor 82
tery or an alkaline type such as nickel-iron or nickel
cadmium, is provided to provide biasing potentials to the 30 conducts. The output at collector electrode 88 applied to
base electrode 104 causes transistor 102 to conduct._ The
electrodes of transistor 30. Thus, emitter electrode 32 is
circuit generates an alternating voltage and the alternating
directly connected to the positive terminal of battery 38,
current ?owing through coil 110 causes the reciprocal
collector electrode 36 being connected to the negative ter
striking of hammer 112 against bell 114, as previously
minal thereof through magnetic coil 40. Emitter elec
trode 32 is also connected to base electrode 34 through 35 described in connection with the description of the circuits
of FIGS. 5 and 6.
magnetic coil 42 and capacitance 44. Base electrode 34
In FIG. 8, where there is shown another example of a
is also connected to the negative terminal of battery 38
circuit which may be utilized in accordance with the in
through a variable resistance 45. Coils 40 and 42 may
vention, the emitter electrode 122 of a transistor 120 is
be mounted on a common member having a magnetic
connected to the positive terminal of a miniature battery
core.
130 through a resistance 132, the collector electrode 126
In operation, the values of the elements of the circuit of
being connected to the negative terminal of the battery
FIG. 5 are so chosen that normally phototransistor 30 is
a material such as phosphor-lithium. In the photorespon
sive device, examples of semiconductor materials which
non-conductive. In the presence of radiation, the phos
phor layer luminesces, the light produced thereby being
through a magnetic coil 128. The base electrode 124 is
also connected to the negative terminal of battery 130
through a resistance 134. Shunting resistance 134 is a
applied to the semiconductor body surface of the transis
tor, such light being preferably focused thereon. The 45 series arrangement of a capacitance 136 and a magnetic
coil 138, coil 138 being shunted by a capacitance 140.
phototransistor, due to the photoconductive effect, will be
Connected in parallel with battery 130 is a series arrange
rendered conductive thereby, and oscillations will be pro
ment of a capacitance 1142 and a photocell 144 as shown,
duced in the circuit. The values of the circuit elements
the junction point 146 of capacitance 142 and photocell
may be chosen so that a predetermined amount of lumi
nescence must be provided from the phosphor before 50 144 being connected to an intermediate point on coil 138.
In operation, the values of the circuit components are
transistor 30 is rendered conductive, the values also being
so chosen that transistor 120 is normally non-conducting.
chosen in accordance with a desired frequency of oscilla
When photocell 144 is subjected to an amount of light
tion. The magnetic core of oscillator coils 40 and 42 acts
due to the luminescence of the phosphor caused by radia
as a magnet for hammer 46 so that with the alternating
current ?owing through the coil due to the oscillator, 55 tion such that its resistance drops su?iciently to permit
transistor 120 to conduct, oscillator action commences and
hammer 46 ‘periodically strikes the bell 48. The core ma
the alternating current ?owing through coil 128 causes
terial preferably is of a suitable relatively high frequency
the consequent reciprocal striking of hammer 148 on bell
magnetic material such as permalloy or ferrite. The fre
150 to produce an audible buzzing sound.
quency of oscillations is chosen to be in the auditory or
In the above circuits, the miniature battery may be dis
hearing range.
pensed with and in lieu thereof there may be used photo
In FIG. 6, there is shown another example of an os
voltaic cells. Also, there may be used electrets in view
cillator circuit for utilization in accordance with the in
of the small amount of power required. With proper
vention. The circuit comprises a phototransistor 50 simj
ilar to transistor 30 of FIG. 5, transistor 50 having an
emitter electrode 52, a base electrode 54 and a collector
electrode 56. Miniature battery 58 is in the circuit to
provide biasing potentials to the electrodes, emitter elec
trode 52 being connected to the positive terminal thereof
choice of circuit values, the photoconductivity of the
phototransistor may be utilized and the power source may
be dispensed with. vInstead of the hammer and bell ar
rangement, there may be provided a switch actuated by
the output magnetic coil to provide a luminous signal. In
the even that it is desired to measure the intensity of radia
through a parallel RC circuit 60 comprising a resistance 70 tion, there may be provided a suitably sensitive measuring
62 and a capacitance 64 and a tap connected to a point
on coil 66. Collector electrode 56 is connected to the
instrument such as a miniature integrating ammeter or
other suitable meter.
While there have been described what are at present
negative terminal of battery 58 through a magnetic coil 68.
considered to be the preferred embodiments of this in
Base electrode '54 is connected to the positive terminal of
battery 58 through a series arrangement of a resistance 70 75 vention, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that
5
3,061,724
various changes and modi?cations may be made therein
duced by said means being related to the intensity of the
said radiation being applied thereto, means for applying at
without departing from the invention, and it is, therefore,
aimed to cover all such changes and modi?cations as fall
least a portion of the radiation which impinges upon said
said housing to said ?rst named means, a photo-responsive
semiconductor translating device which is made conductive
by a chosen threshold of intensity of light, lens means
within the true spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A portable self-contained radiation detection device
comprising a housing consisting of a material which is
for applying said light to said translating device, an oscih
transparent to nuclear and high frequency electromag
netic radiation, said housing containing therewithin a
lator circuit which includes said translating device as an
active element thereof, a direct current potential source
photoresponsive translating ‘device which is rendered con 10 having its output coupled to the input of said oscillator
ductive by a predetermined quantity of light applied therecircuit, said oscillator circuit drawing current and convert
to, means for applying biasing potentials to said photo
ing the direct current voltage from said potential source
responsive translating device, a phosphor material asso
to an alternating current voltage only when the light
ciated with said photoresponsive device which luminesces
emitted by said ?rst named means reaches said threshold
when subjected to said nuclear and high frequency radia 15 intensity, the values of said circuit being chosen so that
tion, an oscillator circuit having said photoresponsive
it ceases to convert said direct current voltage to an alter;
translating device as the active element therein, said bias
nating current voltage when the intensity of said light
ing potentials vbeing so chosen as to block action of said
drops below said threshold level, and means coupled to
oscillator until said photoresponsive device is rendered
the output of said oscillator circuit, responsive to the ap
conductive by a given intensity of light, and means re 20 plication thereto of said alternate current voltage, for
sponsive to the output of said oscillator circuit for provid
providing an indication of the presence of radiation.
ing an indication of said nuclear and electromagnetic
11. A portable self-contained radiation’ detection in
radiation.
strument comprising a housing containing therein spires-Y
2. A portable radiation detection device as de?ned in
phor which emits light upon being subjected to ‘radiation
claim 1 wherein said photoresponsive translating device is
of the type to be detected, the intensity of the light pro
a photoconductive semiconductor diode.
3. A portable radiation detection device as defined in
duced by said phosphor being related to the intensity ot
the said radiation applied thereto, means for applying at
claim 1 wherein said photoresponsive translating device is
least a portion of the radiation which impinges upon said
a phototransistor.
housing to said phosphor, a photoresponsive semicon
4. A portable radiation detection device as de?ned in 30 ductor translating device, an oscillator circuit which in~
claim 1 wherein said means for applying said biasing
eludes such translating device as an active element there
potentials is an electret.
of, lens means for transmitting the light produced by
5. A portable radiation detection device as de?ned in
said phosphor to said translating device, biasing means for
claim 1 wherein said means for applying said biasing
maintaining said oscillator circuit in a quiescent state un
potentials is a miniature primary battery.
35 til said translating device is made conductive by a chosen
6. A portable radiation detection device as de?ned in
threshold intensity of light, a direct current potential
claim 1 wherein said means for applying said biasing po
source having its output coupled to the input of said oscil
tentials is a miniature secondary battery.
7. A portable radiation detection device
claim 1 wherein said means for providing
comprises a buzzer.
8. A portable radiation detection device
claim 1 wherein said means for providing
comprises an electric meter.
lator circuit, said oscillator circuit drawing current and
as de?ned in
converting the direct current voltage from said potential
an indication 40 source to an alternating current voltage only when the
light emitted by said phosphor reaches said threshold in
as de?ned in
an indication
tensity, the values of said circuit being chosen so that it
ceases to convert the direct curent voltage to an alter
nating current voltage when the intensity of said light
9. A portable self-contained instrument for the detec 45 drops below said threshold level, transformer means di
tion of the presence of radiation in an amount exceeding
rectly connected to the output of said oscillator circuit
a chosen level comprising a housing, said housing contain
and a bell connected to the output of said transformer for
ing therein a phosphor material which luminesces when
providing an audible indication of the presence of radia
subjected to radiation of the type to be detected, the in
tion in an amount suihcient causing said phosphor to make
tensity of the luminescence produced by said phosphor
50 said translating device conductive.
being related to the intensity of said radiation applied
thereto, an oscillator circuit, a photo-responsive semi
conductor translating device included as an active element
of said oscillator circuit, means for applying biasing po
tential to said oscillator circuit, said biasing potential be_ 55
’
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
2,496,886
2,708,242
2,728,861
Malloy _______________ __ Feb. 7, 1950
Ruben _______________ __ May 10, 1955
Glass ________________ __ Dec. 27, 1955
2,817,768
2,839,678
Shamos ______________ __ Dec. 24, 1957
Dewitz ______________ __ June 17, 1958
said phosphor material is su?‘icient to actuate said oscil 60 2,885,562
2,899,560
lator, and means responsive to the output of said oscillator
2,942,110
circuit for providing an indication of the presence of said
Mariance _____________ ._ May 5, 1959
Newet _______________ __ Aug. 11, 1959
ing selected so that said oscillator circuit draws current
and produces an output only when said radiation is present
in an amount exceeding said chosen level whereupon the
intensity of light applied to said translating device from
Lehovec _____________ __ June 21, 1960
radiation.
OTHER REFERENCES
10. A portable self-contained radiation detection in
Transistors
in
Radio and Television by Kiver, McGraW
strument comprising a housing containing therein means 65
Hill Book Company, Inc., New York, 1956, pages 203
which emits light upon being subjected to radiation of
211.
the type to be detected, the intensity of the light pro
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