New approaches for making large-volume and uniform CdZnTe and CdMnTe detectors

K. H. Kim, A. E. Bolotnikov, G. S. Camarda, R. Tappero, A. Hossain, Y. Cui, J. Franc, L. Marchini, A. Zappettini, P. Fochuk, G. Yang, R. Gul, R. B. James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Although CdZnTe (CZT) and CdMnTe (CMT) materials are leading contenders for room-temperature semiconductor detectors, nonetheless, both materials have limitations hindering their full usage in producing economical, uniform, large-volume devices due to their grain/twin boundaries, material purity, secondary-phase Te defects and material segregation. We tried to prevent the generation of twin and subgrain boundaries to achieve large-volume CZT crystals by means of local temperature control between the CZT melt and quartz crucible. Also, we have expanded the understanding of the electrical and structural properties of coherent/incoherent twin boundaries. The high residual impurities in the starting source materials, especially in manganese, were identified as obstacles against obtaining high-performance CMT detectors. We found that purifying manganese telluride (MnTe) via a floating Te melt-zone very effectively removes impurities, leading to better detectors. CMT detectors fabricated with purified material give a 2.1% energy resolution for 662 keV with a 137Cs gamma source without any electron-loss corrections. Secondary-phase Te defects deteriorate detector performance due to incomplete charge collection caused by charge trapping. In situ growth interface studies reveal the thermo-migration of Te inclusions to CZT melts and the dependence of Te-inclusion size on the cooling rate. The effective segregation coefficient of Zn in the CdTe host is nearly 1.3, so about 5%-6% of Zn deviation was reported in Bridgman-grown CZT (Zn=10% ingots. Such uncontrolled Zn variations cause a significant variation of the band-gap throughout the ingot and, consequently, affect the nonuniformity of the detectors' responses. Practically, this means that manufacturers cannot cut the ingot parallel to the crystal growth direction. We also demonstrated that the segregation of Zn can be controlled by creating particular thermal environments after growth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6236261
Pages (from-to)1510-1515
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science
Issue number4 PART 3
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • II-VI semiconductor materials
  • X-ray detectors
  • cadmium compounds
  • gamma-ray detectors
  • semiconductor growth
  • semiconductor radiation detectors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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