We observed the electro-migration of Cu, Ag, and Au impurities that exist in positive-ion states in TlBr detectors under electric field strengths typically used for device operation. The migration occurred predominantly through bulk- and specific-channels, which are presumed to be a network of grain and sub-grain boundaries. The electro-migration velocity of Cu, Ag, and Au in TlBr is about 4-8 × 10-8 cm/s at room temperature under an electric field of 500-800 V/mm. The instability and polarization effects of TlBr detectors might well be correlated with the electro-migration of residual impurities in TlBr, which alters the internal electric field over time. The effect may also have been due to migration of the electrode material itself, which would allow for the possibility of a better choice for contact material and for depositing an effective diffusion barrier. From our findings, we suggest that applying our electro-migration technique for purifying material is a promising new way to remove electrically active metallic impurities in TlBr crystals, as well as other materials.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)