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Required Parts

Before starting your journey to build your very own particle detector, you need to equip yourself with some necessary equipment. Below you can find a list of the components required to build your particle detector. Our team conducted extensive research on the market to select the best but yet most affordable components for constructing the detector with a low overall approximate cost.

Part Quantity Image
General Parts
Monobloc Battery (9V) 1
Breadboard 1
Wires ~50
Trimmer 1
Switch/ Trimmer Capacitor (ask Janna) 1
10 pF 2
100 pF 1
100 nF 7
47 μF 2
47 Ω 1
1 kΩ 5
4.7 kΩ 3
5 kΩ 1
10 kΩ 2
15 kΩ 1
100 kΩ 1
10 MΩ 1
1 mH 1
BPW 34 3
Operational Amplifier
TL072 1
LM358 1

You probably already know how batteries, capacitors, resistors and inductors work, but maybe you've never heard of an operational amplifier or diodes? Don’t worry, the function of these parts is briefly explained below.

Operational amplifier: An operational amplifier (often abbreviated as op amp) is a DC-coupled electronic component that amplifies the difference between the input signals by subjecting it to mathematical operations such as addition, subtraction, or more complex operations. It is very versatile and is therefore often used in integrated circuits. The structure of an operational amplifier is schematically shown in Figure 2. The supply voltage is usually symmetric, i. e. if the positive power supply is +15V, the negative power supply is -15V. It has two input pins, of which one inverts the signal (-) and the other doesn’t (+), and one output pin.

Depending on the type, the operational amplifier attributes can become very complicated and require further explanation, the aim is therefore for you to understand the basic operation mode of an op amp. First of all, the difference between the two input signals is defined as UD=U+ - U-. The amplification level of the differential voltage is determined by the amplification factor VD, which is dependent on the internal structure of the op amp. An ideal op amp would have an infinite amplification, whereas today’s op amps reach values of several hundred thousands. The output signal is now given by UA=VD × UD.

There are different types and models of operational amplifiers. One that could be used is the TL072, shown in Figure 3, which is known for its low power consumption, low noise, high slew rate, among other features that make the device versatile and efficient.

Pin Diode: A PIN diode is a component made of a p-type (positively doped) layer, an intrinsic separation layer and a n-type (negatively doped) layer, as shown in Figure 4.

Silicon PIN photodiodes are a great option for radiation monitoring. They are low-cost and are capable of detecting Alpha, beta, gamma, and X-ray. One that could be used for this purpose is the BPW34 Silicon PIN Photodiode. It has high speed, high radiant sensitivity, large radiant sensitive area (A = 7.5 mm^2) and fast response times. When a charged particle, x-ray or gamma photon goes through the material, ionisation is produced and this ionisation energy liberates charges. By applying a potential difference, an electric field is produced and the charges are collected. Electrons get attracted to the positive voltage and holes go to the negative, so a current, the result of the charge motion, can be measured from the diode in the external circuit. The current is small, such that the measurement needs to be amplified. For this reason, it is connected to an operational amplifier.

Have you crossed everything off the list? Go on to the next tutorial to finally start building your detector!

For any suggestions or questions regarding the list of components please contact us at