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Improved CdTe-based radiation detectors.

Brookhaven National Laboratory's CZT-ElectrodePlus is a technology that integrates novel non-metallic ZnO:Al contacts to CZT, replacing the conventional metallic contacts used for nuclear radiation detector applications. This new contact resolved many long-standing technological problems associated with conventional metal contacts to CZT. Prior to this discovery, noble metals, such as gold or platinum, were exclusively used as contacts to CZT for the fabrication of commercial x-ray and gamma-ray detectors. However, because of the large difference in thermal expansion coefficients of the noble metals and CZT, a large amount of stress always existed at the contact interface leading to poor adhesion and electrical noise, resulting in degradation of the device performance that worsens over time. Since the new contact is an oxide of one of CZT's components, zinc, this ensures very good interfacial bonding and good adhesion. In addition, most of the metals used for CZT contact are soft and prone to mechanical damage and scratches during handling, while ZnO offers a hardness of eight to 20 times more than the typical common metals. Thus, the new ZnO:Al contact to CZT is more stable, rugged and offers better interfacial stability, which ensures prolonged operation of the device without measurable degradation.

Brookhaven National Laboratory, www.bnl.gov

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Title Annotation:2015 R&D 100 FINALIST: IT/Electrical: LASERS/PHOTONICS/BEAM
Publication:R & D
Date:Sep 1, 2015
Words:206
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