Radon detector development using a PIN photodiode

  • Lorenzo Visca Physics Department of the University of Torino, Torino, Italy
  • Antonio Amoroso Physics Department of the University of Torino, Torino, Italy
  • Roberta Calabria Physics Department of the University of Torino, Torino, Italy
  • Giorgio Cotto Physics Department of the University of Torino, Torino, Italy
  • Aldo Crosetto External Collaborator, Torino, Italy
  • Marco Giovanni Maria Destefanis Physics Department of the University of Torino, Torino, Italy
  • Elisabetta Alessandra Durisi University of Torino
  • Francesco Mallamace Physics Department of the University of Torino, Torino, Italy
  • Pier Paolo Trapani External Collaborator, Torino, Italy
  • Lorenzo Zamprotta Physics Department of the University of Torino, Torino, Italy
Keywords: silicon photodiode, alpha spectroscopy, continuous radon monitor, radon device intercomparison, radon network


An active device for radon detection in air has been developed in the frame of a project carried out by the Physics Department of the University of Torino with the aim to create a monitoring network of radon concentration in the University workplaces.

The device uses a commercial planar photodiode, sensitive to alpha particles, and a dedicated electronic chain integrated in an approx. 30 mm by 50 mm printed circuit board (PCB), designed in order to minimize the power consumption. The device can be used not only as alpha particles counter (using the digital output) but also for alpha spectroscopy, connecting the analog signal output from the shaper amplifier to a Multichannel Analyzer (MCA).

In this paper, the first prototype of the detector will be presented with the preliminary experimental results.

The spectroscopic performances of the device were tested, integrating the sensor in a commercial aluminum box and acquiring the alpha particle spectrum from a calibration source and from rock samples used as radon sources.

The radon sensitivity of the detector, in terms of (Counts per hour)/(Bq m−3), was assessed by the comparison with a calibrated commercial radon detector (RAD7 Durridge Inc.).

In conclusion, the final prototype will be presented. It is characterized by a new 3d printed plastic case in black PA12 for light shielding, covered by a conductive paint in order to minimize the electromagnetic noise.


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Author Biography

Elisabetta Alessandra Durisi, University of Torino

Physics Department


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How to Cite
Visca L., Amoroso A., Calabria R., Cotto G., Crosetto A., Destefanis M. G. M., Durisi E. A., Mallamace F., Trapani P. P., & Zamprotta L. (2023). Radon detector development using a PIN photodiode. Journal of the European Radon Association, 4. https://doi.org/10.35815/radon.v4.8860
Special issue RAP 2022 conference