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Appl Radiat Isot. 2016 Mar;109:301-307. doi: 10.1016/j.apradiso.2015.11.048. Epub 2015 Nov 28.

QUENCH: A software package for the determination of quenching curves in Liquid Scintillation counting.

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CEA, LIST, Laboratoire National Henri Becquerel, LNE-LNHB, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France.


In Liquid Scintillation Counting (LSC), the scintillating source is part of the measurement system and its detection efficiency varies with the scintillator used, the vial and the volume and the chemistry of the sample. The detection efficiency is generally determined using a quenching curve, describing, for a specific radionuclide, the relationship between a quenching index given by the counter and the detection efficiency. A quenched set of LS standard sources are prepared by adding a quenching agent and the quenching index and detection efficiency are determined for each source. Then a simple formula is fitted to the experimental points to define the quenching curve function. The paper describes a software package specifically devoted to the determination of quenching curves with uncertainties. The experimental measurements are described by their quenching index and detection efficiency with uncertainties on both quantities. Random Gaussian fluctuations of these experimental measurements are sampled and a polynomial or logarithmic function is fitted on each fluctuation by χ(2) minimization. This Monte Carlo procedure is repeated many times and eventually the arithmetic mean and the experimental standard deviation of each parameter are calculated, together with the covariances between these parameters. Using these parameters, the detection efficiency, corresponding to an arbitrary quenching index within the measured range, can be calculated. The associated uncertainty is calculated with the law of propagation of variances, including the covariance terms.


Curve fitting; LSC; Quenching curve; Quenching index

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