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26 August 2015 Novel semiconductor radiation detector based on mercurous halides
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Abstract
The three most important desirable features in the search for room temperature semiconductor detector (RTSD) candidate as an alternative material to current commercially off-the-shelf (COTS) material for gamma and/or thermal neutron detection are: low cost, high performance and long term stability. This is especially important for pager form application in homeland security. Despite years of research, no RTSD candidate so far can satisfy the above 3 features simultaneously. In this work, we show that mercurous halide materials Hg2X2 (X= I, Cl, Br) is a new class of innovative compound semiconductors that is capable of delivering breakthrough advances to COTS radiation detector materials. These materials are much easier to grow thicker and larger volume crystals. They can detect gamma and potentially neutron radiation making it possible to detect two types of radiation with just one crystal material. The materials have wider bandgaps (compared to COTS) meaning higher resistivity and lower leakage current, making this new technology more compatible with available microelectronics. The materials also have higher atomic number and density leading to higher stopping power and better detector sensitivity/efficiency. They are not hazardous so there are no environmental and health concerns during manufacturing and are more stable making them more practical for commercial deployment. Focus will be on Hg2I2. Material characterization and detector performance will be presented and discussed. Initial results show that an energy resolution better than 2% @ 59.6 keV gamma from Am-241 and near 1% @ 662 keV from Cs-137 source can be achieved at room temperature.
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Henry Chen, Joo-Soo Kim, Proyanthi Amarasinghe, Withold Palosz, Feng Jin, Sudhir Trivedi, Arnold Burger, Jarrod C. Marsh, Marc S. Litz, Priyalal S. Wiejewarnasuriya, Neelam Gupta, Janet Jensen, and James Jensen "Novel semiconductor radiation detector based on mercurous halides", Proc. SPIE 9593, Hard X-Ray, Gamma-Ray, and Neutron Detector Physics XVII, 95930G (26 August 2015); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2188448
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