A low noise, low power consumption, compact, ambient temperature signal amplifier for a Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CZT) radiation detector. The amplifier can be used within a larger system (e.g., including a multi-channel analyzer) to allow isotopic analysis of radionuclides in the field. In one embodiment, the circuit stages of the low power, low noise amplifier are constructed using integrated circuit (IC) amplifiers , rather than discrete components, and include a very low noise, high gain, high bandwidth dual part preamplification stage, an amplification stage, and an filter stage. The low noise, low power consumption, compact, ambient temperature amplifier enables the CZT detector to achieve both the efficiency required to determine the presence of radio nuclides and the resolution necessary to perform isotopic analysis to perform nuclear material identification. The present low noise, low power, compact, ambient temperature amplifier enables a CZT detector to achieve resolution of less than 3% full width at half maximum at 122 keV for a Cobalt-57 isotope source. By using IC circuits and using only a single 12 volt supply and ground, the novel amplifier provides significant power savings and is well suited for prolonged portable in-field use and does not require heavy, bulky power supply components.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California, for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.