Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version

August 1976


Published in Nuclear Instruments and Methods 138 (1976), pp. 631–636. Copyright © North-Holland Publishing Co. /Elsevier. Used by permission. Supported by the United States Energy Research and Development Administration, and the National Science Foundation (RANN).


The supralinear response of thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs) after irradiation with gamma- or beta-rays can be decomposed by use of the cumulative Poisson distribution into a sum of 1-or-more and 2-or-more hit components, suggesting the coexistence of both types of trap structures. Following the response of other 1-hit detectors, and of biological cells to energetic heavy ions, we expect and find that the supralinear response tends to disappear with alpha particle, and with neutron irradiation, and that the supralinear, or 2-hit, component tends to be more responsive to high LET (Linear Energy Transfer) radiations. Since the response of biological cells to gamma-rays is also supralinear, the supralinear component of the TLD response can be expected to have the capacity to mimic the response of biological cells and tissues to radiations of different quality.

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