, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 556-563

Effect of constrained growth on defect structures in microgravity grown CdZnTe boules

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Abstract

In a microgravity environment obtainable in an orbiting space shuttle, it is possible to virtually eliminate gravity related effects such as buoyancy driven convection and hydrostatic forces thus providing an ideal environment for diffusion-controlled, containerless crystal growth processes. Under such conditions, it is possible to investigate the effects of gravity independent growth parameters on crystal growth. Studies of CdZnTe boules grown on space shuttle mission USML-1 revealed that regions of the boules grown with wall contact were associated with a higher defect density than regions grown with partial or no wall contact. Defect densities in certain regions grown without wall contact were as low as 5 × 102/cm2 to 1.2 × 103/cm2. More detailed studies on the effects of wall contact were sought in the USML-2 mission. Two CdZnTe boules (GCRC-1 and GCRC-2) were grown by the seeded Bridgman-Stockbarger method. Boule GCRC-1 was grown under constrained conditions to force full wall contact while boule GCRC-2 had a tapered geometry designed to minimize wall contact. Defect distributions in the boules were investigated by synchrotron white beam x-ray topography. The sample GCRC-1 was characterized by the presence of large inhomogeneous strains, numerous grains and twins, all of which are caused by effects related to wall contact. On the other hand, a part of the boule GCRC-2 that grew free from wall contact revealed minimum surface strains, the absence of twins and a very high structural uniformity. Results clearly verify that ampoule wall contact plays an important role in determining the incidence of crystal imperfections.