S.M.A.R.T. Laboratory
Project Description

CdZnTe is a wide band gap semiconductor that has shown tremendous promise as a  material for room temperature operated gamma ray spectrometers. Its relatively high Z number (Cd=48, Zn = 30, Te = 52) allows for high gamma ray interaction efficiency, similar to that of the scintillator NaI(Tl). Further, its wide band gap energy of approximately 1.56 eV ensures low leakage current at room temperature. Being a semiconductor, the number of signal carriers produced per unit energy deposited is far greater than a scintillator, meaning that ultimately it is capable of much better gamma ray energy resolution.

Methods to grow CdZnTe for gamma ray spectometers have been explored since the early 1990's, yet a reliable method to produce quality materials at low cost has thus far been evasive. Due to the lack of commercially available material and volatile market prices, it was found necessary to begin reseaching methods to produce CdZnTe in the S.M.A.R.T. Laboratory to ensure that a product would be available when needed. Hence, CdZnTe growth is being explored by two methods; (1) the low pressure growth method using a multi-zone modified Bridgman furnace, and (2) the high pressure method using a high pressure Bridgman furnace.

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Mechanical & Nuclear Engineering
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