Sandia CZT Growth Process Receives Research Award

Compound semi trackers are always asking “What’s beyond InP, GaN and SiC?
The list of potentials is as rich as the periodic table, but Cadium Zinc Telluride
(CZT) has received a boost from Sandia National Labs. Included in recent awards
bestowed on Sandia research teams is a new process for growing compound semiconductors
of cadmium-zinc-telluride (CZT) for room temperature radiation detection and
imaging of nuclear materials. The technique includes the growing of large single
crystals of CZT which was developed a Sandia team that included outside partners
Yinnel-Tech Inc. (South Bend, Indiana), Techion – Israel Institute of Technology;
and Fisk University. According to Sandia, the detectors designed from this new
process are unique because they can operate at room temperature, detect X- and
gamma-ray radiation with high efficiency, and uniquely identify the isotopes
responsible for the emitted radiation. The team’s development of an improved
technique to grow detector-grade CZT crystals and a new method to reduce the
dark current flowing along the crystal surfaces have allowed for major improvements
in the signal-to-noise ratio, long-term stability, and yield of single-crystal
material. The detectors have diverse applications, including environmental cleanup,
imaging of gamma-ray bursts, radiography, safeguarding the world’s inventory
of nuclear materials and improved detection of tumors and heart disease. Press