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22 March 2010 Cadmium zinc telluride detector for low photon energy applications
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Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CdZnTe or CZT) is a polycrystalline radiation detector that has been investigated over the years for a variety of applications including Constellation X-ray space mission [1] and direct-conversion medical imaging such as digital mammography [2]. Due to its high conversion gain and low electron-hole pair creation energy (~4.43 eV) [3], it has found use in high end, photon counting medical imaging applications including positron emission tomography (PET), computed tomography (CT) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). However, its potential in low photon energy applications has not been fully explored. In this work, we explore the capacity of the CZT material to count low photon energies (6 keV - 20 keV). These energies are of direct relevance to applications in gamma ray breast brachytheraphy and mammography, X-ray protein crystallography, X-ray mammography and mammography tomosynthesis. We also present a design that integrates the CZT direct conversion detector with an inhouse fabricated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) thin film transistor (TFT) passive pixel sensor (PPS) array. A CZT photoconductor (2 cm x 2 cm size, 5-mm-thick) prepared by the traveling heat method (THM) from RedlenTM is characterized. The current-voltage characteristics reveal a resistivity of 3.3 x 1011 Ω•cm and a steady state dark current in the range of nA. Photocurrent transients under different biases and illumination pulses are studied to investigate photogeneration and the charge trapping process. It is found that charge trapping plays a more significant role in transient behavior at low biases and low frequency.
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Kyung-Wook Shin, Kai Wang, Alla Reznik, and Karim S. Karim "Cadmium zinc telluride detector for low photon energy applications", Proc. SPIE 7622, Medical Imaging 2010: Physics of Medical Imaging, 76223Z (22 March 2010);

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