Differential incoherent scattering cross-sections; effective atomic number; average atomic number; composite materials.
In this work, we have made an effort to determine whether the effective atomic numbers of H-, C-, N- and O-based composite materials would indeed remain a constant over the energy grid of 280–1200 keV wherein incoherent scattering dominates their interaction with photons. For this purpose, the differential incoherent scattering cross-sections of Be, C, Mg, Al, Ca and Ti were measured for three scattering angles 60°, 80° and 100° at 279.1, 661.6 and 1115.5 keV using which an expression for the effective atomic number was derived. The differential incoherent scattering cross-sections of the composite materials of interest measured at these three angles in the same set-up and substituted in this expression would yield their effective atomic number at the three energies. Results obtained in this manner for bakelite, nylon, epoxy, teflon, perspex and some sugars, fatty acids as well as amino acids agreed to within 2% of some of the other available values. It was also observed that for each of these samples, 𝑍eff was almost a constant at the three energies which unambiguously justified the conclusions drawn by other authors earlier [Manjunathaguru and Umesh, J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 39, 3969 (2006); Manohara et al, Nucl. Instrum. Methods B266, 3906 (2008); Manohara et al Phys. Med. Biol. 53, M377 (2008)] based on total interaction cross-sections in the energy grid of interest.