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Operation of scintillators and SiPMs at high temperatures and their application for borehole logging

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JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
DateAccepted/In press - 15 Feb 2021
DateE-pub ahead of print - 19 Feb 2021
DatePublished (current) - 1 May 2021
Volume997
Number of pages7
Early online date19/02/21
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Gamma-ray detection is extensively used in borehole logging — a technique widely employed in oil and gas, and mineral exploration. The workhorse of this detection application for many years has been traditional NaI(Tl) scintillators coupled to photo-multiplier tubes (PMTs) which can provide the performance and energy resolution required in this application. PMTs are a well proven technology which can operate in the high temperature conditions (typically of order 100 °C) and pressures (10 MPa) encountered during logging activities. PMTs are, however, fragile in that they incorporate an evacuated tube. They also have a large form factor and require ancillary electronics such as a high-voltage supply meaning they occupy significant space within the borehole probe. It would be advantageous to have a compact replacement to allow additional instruments to be included within the borehole probe. Silicon photo-multipliers (SiPMs) are an attractive PMT replacement since they are robust, compact and operate at low voltage. However, SiPMs suffer from dark current which increases rapidly with temperature leading to increased noise and degraded energy resolution. We have evaluated CsI(Tl) scintillators coupled to standard 6 × 6 mm2 SiPMs from Hamamatsu and SensL as a function of temperature. We have shown that these prototypes operate effectively up to a temperature of 80 °C which could satisfy the requirements of some applications of borehole logging where the maximum temperature encountered is 75 °C.

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Sincere gratitude to Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Nigeria who fully funded this work. We acknowledge the support of Robertson Geologging, especially Paul Worthington who provided information on the context of gamma-ray detection in borehole logging. Aliyu Bala also acknowledges Robertson Geologging for hosting him at their headquarters for two weeks during 2018.

© 2021 Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy.

    Research areas

  • Borehole logging, Gamma-ray spectrometry, Inorganic scintillators, Silicon photomultipliers

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