Photon counting X-ray and gamma-ray spectroscopy with Al0.52In0.48P detectors

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sussex
Department Name: Sch of Engineering and Informatics

Abstract

The development of photon counting spectroscopic wide bandgap X-ray and gamma-ray detectors is important for a number of research disciplines and to UK economic success, both in the short and longer terms. Wide bandgap X-ray and gamma-ray detectors, made from materials such as Al0.52In0.48P, enable the deployment of such spectrometers in environments that would be too hot for conventional semiconductor detectors without cooling.

This project will lay the foundations for Al0.52In0.42P to become a practical material for next generation high temperature (> 20 degrees C) X-ray and gamma-ray detectors, as well as making broader important contributions to detector physics and III-V materials research.

X-ray spectrometers are of national importance economically, scientifically, and socially, since they are needed for a wide variety of applications spanning industrial, scientific, health, and security uses.

Gamma-ray spectrometers are needed for multiple applications in nuclear science and engineering, including isotopic analysis, measurement of fission products, and nuclear material detection and interdiction.

Planned Impact

Robust semiconductor photon counting X-ray and gamma-ray detectors and spectrometers that can operate at high temperature and in intense radiation environments are a key 21st century need. Such devices are required for scientific purposes (e.g. space exploration, synchrotron science, nuclear research), but also in industry for applications such as monitoring nuclear wastes, machine condition monitoring, and gamma-ray sterilisation of food and other items. They are also very notably and urgently required for national security and defence applications.

The detection and interdiction of contraband nuclear material at ports and boarders, and in the field, is essential for ensuring nuclear non-proliferation and preventing nuclear terrorism. The efficient and rapid detection of environmental radiological contamination from convert nuclear programmes, radiological dispersal devices, and radiological accidents, is of paramount importance to national and international security, national and world economies, and public health.

This project will undertake work to develop Al0.52In0.48P X-ray and gamma-ray detectors suitable for these and other applications. This type of detector has the potential to outperform existing technologies, and provide a step change advantage to the UK in areas of national importance.

Publications

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Lioliou G (2019) 4H-SiC Schottky diodes with Ni 2 Si contacts for X-ray detection in Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment

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Lioliou G (2019) X-ray spectroscopy with an AlInP photodiode in Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment

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Zhao S (2020) AlInP X-ray photodiodes without incomplete charge collection noise in Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment

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Zhao S (2019) AlInP photodiode x-ray detectors in Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics