Radon Sensor

Hi There Has anyone here ever seen a Radon detector? I mean, a sensor that provides an electrical output proportional to the presence of Radon. I can't find any other than "human involving" sensors that you leave out for a while and then send to a laboratory for them to analyze the radon contents. I would like to get a real time electrical reading

Thanks!

They exist: Radon sensor

Geiger counter?
Scintillation counter?
No expert on this, but some beta emitters are counted by using a chemical that scintillates (flashes) when a beta particle hits it. Going back a way when working with sulphur 35, I used a chemical with a long name abbreviated to POPOP. The method is called liquid scintillation counting
The downside is that you needed pre-nuclear testing steel and lead shielding to put the photomultiplier in.
For anyone interested in useless facts, a large source of uncontaminated materials was heavy steel plate used in WW1 battleships sunk in Scarpa Flow.
Radon in seawater is measured by freezing out the radon with liquid nitrogen then using a Geiger counter.
The problem with Radon is that it is chemically inert like all the noble gases (neon etc.) so chemical methods don’t work.
If it’s health critcial, I would be looking at a commercial unit.

DIY ion chamber for radon detection. Not very sensitive, and requires an extra radon daughter collection device, but there are other DIY examples.

knut_ny: They exist: Radon sensor

Good one, I was expecting something a little "on budget" but this is a good option if nothing else shows up Thanks!

tigger: Geiger counter? Scintillation counter? No expert on this, but some beta emitters are counted by using a chemical that scintillates (flashes) when a beta particle hits it. Going back a way when working with sulphur 35, I used a chemical with a long name abbreviated to POPOP. The method is called liquid scintillation counting The downside is that you needed pre-nuclear testing steel and lead shielding to put the photomultiplier in. For anyone interested in useless facts, a large source of uncontaminated materials was heavy steel plate used in WW1 battleships sunk in Scarpa Flow. Radon in seawater is measured by freezing out the radon with liquid nitrogen then using a Geiger counter. The problem with Radon is that it is chemically inert like all the noble gases (neon etc.) so chemical methods don't work. If it's health critcial, I would be looking at a commercial unit.

No, it's not health critical, and to be honest, I don't really know what to look for. I mean, Im starting to realize that Radon itself, being an inert gas, like you said, is hard to measure directly. I guess all I can do is just measure normal radiation (not sure if alpha, beta, or gamma), so I should be able to use a normal geiger detector. But in this case I would be getting levels derived from other sources, not only Radon, right?

Thanks

jremington: DIY ion chamber for radon detection. Not very sensitive, and requires an extra radon daughter collection device, but there are other DIY examples.

I've seen some like this, the problem is that I need something that I can replicate in series to build a comercial model, not just a homemade prototype

Thanks!

sensors that you leave out for a while and then send to a laboratory for them to analyze the radon contents.

Their is a resion for that and it is that radon is not a strong emitter so the photographic emulsion in these types of sensors accumulate strikes over a month or two.

I guess all I can do is just measure normal radiation (not sure if alpha, beta, or gamma), so I should be able to use a normal geiger detector. But in this case I would be getting levels derived from other sources, not only Radon, right?

Correct, in fact you would probably not get any radon detected at all as the alpha radiation can't get into the metal or glass wall of a Geiger counter. The only chance would be with a mica fronted Geiger counter but that mainly lets through beta radiation.

See:- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radon

So you are suggesting that a normal geiger detector with no metal casing around might work out for this? I wonder what those other sensors (like the RD200M that was suggested above) use to detect it...

Thanks

The RD200M uses a custom ion chamber.

Geiger tubes are very insensitive to alpha particles, even with special windows. The pancake type tube is perhaps 15% efficient (1 out of 6 particles detected), so if you want to measure low levels of radon alpha emission, a Geiger tube is not the way to go.

See https://ehs.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/lines-of-services/radiation-safety/G-M_pancake_detectors.pdf

An ion chamber does not have to have a window, so samples can be introduced directly into the chamber.

So you are suggesting that a normal geiger detector with no metal casing around might work out for this?

Given that their is no such thing, yes it could work.