A germanium gamma-ray detector is a germanium semiconductor device that utilizes the production and motion of excess free charge carriers produced by radiation absorption for the detection and measurement of incident X- and gamma-radiation. In carrying out the test procedures described herein, the following general precautions are recommended: Maximum diode voltage, current, radiation flux ratings, device ambient temperature and environment, and other operational limits specified by the detector manufacturer should not be exceeded, or permanent changes of the detector characteristics may result. All measurements shall be performed with the semiconductor material in total darkness. The values of the parameters measured should be reproducible, within the stated precision of the measurement, after the performance of any one or all of the tests performed. The ripple, hum, stability, etc, of the detector bias supply shall not substantially influence the resolution or other detector parameter measurements. Since germanium detectors exist in a variety of sizes and configurations and operate in a vacuum environment at low temperatures (usually near 77 K) , the detector assembly is treated as a " blackbox " and all geometrical measurements are referred to the outer encapsulating container. The tests described herein apply to simple, two-terminal detector configurations, and not to more complex systems such as those designed for Compton event suppression.
Germanium detectors are extensively used for the detection and analysis of gamma-radiation
primarily because of their excellent energy resolution. The rapid development and utilization of
these detectors in a variety of technical disciplines have made standard test procedures desirable
so that measurements may have the same meaning to all manufacturers and users.
These test procedures are not intended to imply that all tests described herein are mandatory,
but only that such tests as are carried out on completed devices should be performed in accordance with these recommended procedures. These test procedures are a supplement to the following documents: IEEE Std 300-1969, Test Procedure for Semiconductor Radiation Detectors, (ANSI N42.1-1969) and IEEE Std 301-1969, Test Procedure for Amplifiers and Preamplifiers for Semiconductor Radiation Detectors, (ANSI N42.2-1969)