Stand alone digital MCA

TOPAZ-Pico is a compact, stand-alone digital Multi-Channel Analyser (MCA), which is able to perform Pulse Height Analysis (PHA) of the signal produced by a standard scintillation detector such as NaI(Tl), LaBr3 (Ce), LaCl3(Ce), etc.

The device is therefore useful for obtaining the energy spectrum from the photon radiation detected by the scintillator, and can be easily interfaced to a typical PC or notebook via a standard USB port for further data transfer and analysis.

The MCA is provided with a basic software package that allows to control the device, and to acquire and visualise the energy spectrum. The software incorporates an advanced and easy-to-use “discovery” function that can be used to detect automatically all the BrightSpec MCAs (bMCAs-USB, bMCA-Ethernet and TOPAZ-Pico) in the neighbourhood of the PC that are available for connection.

A set of programming libraries is also offered, which makes the incorporation of the TOPAZ-Pico into existing radiation systems or setups very easy. The programming libraries are available for both MS Windows and Linux operating systems.

The device is available either in a rugged, pocket-size aluminium box with input and output connectors or as separate Printed-Circuit Board (PCB) for OEM distribution.

  • Fully digital Multi-Channel Analyzer (MCA), suitable for medium-energy resolution detectors
  • OEM kits available
  • Full Pulse-Height Analysis (PHA) and Multi-Channel Scaling (MCS) modes of data acquisition
  • Up to 4096 channels for PHA and MCS acquisition
  • Advanced electronic noise reduction algorithms
  • USB 2.0 for data communication and device control
  • Miniature design combining low power consumption with low noise
  • Basic spectrum acquisition and device control software included
  • Optional TTL counter input available
  • Compact MCA: 107x72x19mm In Aluminium Case < 150 Grams
  • Programming libraries available for Windows & Linux Operating System (upon request)
The TOPAZ-Pico is an advanced, fully digital, compact Multi-Channel Analyser. This device is used to process the electronic pulses produced by a photo-multiplier that is coupled to a scintillator detector. Such detectors are commonly used in the detection of gamma-ray radiation due to their high detection efficiency, medium energy resolution and relatively low price. This kind of MCA is able to produce an energy spectrum from the radiation events detected by the scintillator, storing it in the device’s memory for further retrieval and analysis by the PC.The MCA implements two modes of data acquisition:

  • Pulse Height Analysis (PHA)
  • Multi-channel scaling (MCS)

PHA mode is regularly used in nuclear spectrometry and radiometry, while MCS is a very useful feature for following photon detections in a particular specific energy regions in function of time. MCS acquisition mode is useful to both laboratory and industrial applications that make use of radioactive sources or seek for radioactive materials.

The TOPAZ-Pico design makes use of the latest advances in digital electronics. The MCA utilises powerful digital processing techniques and algorithms to better separate the useful signal from noise and to maximise performance under high count rate conditions. It also contains a miniaturised high-voltage power supply optimised for low consumption that provides the necessary power for the PMT tube, including those used with large scintillator detectors. The device has a spectral memory size of up to 4096 channels and can perform MCS in addition to PHA.

The device is cased into a rugged aluminium box of pocket sizes with one input connector (detector signal together with high voltage) and output\control connector (USB mini type B). Optionally, the MCA can have an extra input connection for TTL signal count, quite useful to connect the input of a neutron counter.

This device is also available as a separate PCB only, which makes it attractive to the OEM market. The programming libraries for Windows and Linux OS are available as well.

Our standard acquisition software package is provided for managing operations such as setup, control, data acquisition and visualisation. A digital oscilloscope function allows monitoring the input and filtered pulses to aid in fine-tuning the MCA parameters. The program also includes a few spectrometry-related functions for processing the spectral data: calibration, ROI analysis and peak search, to mention a few.

  • Control of the operation of the bMCA device
  • Setup of acquisition parameters
  • Data acquisition in Pulse Height Analysis (PHA) and Multi-Channel Scaling (MCS) modes
  • Visualisation of the energy spectrum
  • Peak search and energy calibration
  • ROI-based spectrum analysis
  • Saving of acquired spectra into files in ASCII format
  • Generation of reports
  • Creation and use of nuclide libraries
  • Possibility of calling an external application for further spectrum processing at the click of a button
Get in touch with The JCS team