Due to a high detection capability of the input or with the help of a special input converter, MCP can detect input events of different physical nature, including ultraviolet and X-ray radiation and penetrating nuclear radiations such as: proton, neutron and other particle flows, and to convert them into electron flows which are amplified in MCP channels.
Photoelectric material deposited on the MCP input surface improves the detection efficiency. Typical photoelectric materials are CsI, CuI, KBr, Au. Of these CsI is the most commonly used. CsI is a hygroscopic material which reacts with moisture in air, and its characteristics can deteriorate in a short time. In order to prevent this, the material should always be stored in vacuum. Therefore, the detectors for UV and X-ray detection – Zirkon and Zirkon-R, respectively – with CsI coating on the input MCP are designed in a vacuum version.