Removal of contaminating tritium and tritium pressure measurement by a secondary electron multiplier
A ceramic secondary electron multiplier (SEM), Ceratron, was used to study impairment of the SEM performance due to adsorbed tritium, its decontamination, and the applicability of the SEM to measure tritium pressure. The background level of the SEM increased significantly, up to its counting limit, due to tritium adsorption. Heating it to 300°C in vacuo and/or in the presence of reactive gases such as D 2 and CO at 1 × 10 -4 Pa was not effective to decontaminate the SEM, whereas photon irradiation was extremely powerful for the decontamination. The tritium (HT) pressure in a range of 1 × 10 -6-1 × 10 -3 Pa could be measured with no significant impairment of the SEM performance with the aid of photon irradiation. It is revealed that a particle flux as low as 1 particle/s will be able to measure in the presence of tritium if suitable photon sources are installed in the systems.