Characterization of dark noise in CdZnTe spectrometers
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Systematic measurements of dark noise spectra of CdZnTe x- and γ-ray spectrometers, correlated with the dc I-V characteristics and detector technology, are reported. The dark noise of two innovative CdZnTe spectrometer configurations are studied: metal-semiconductor-metal (MSM) resistive detectors with three terminals as well as heterostructure PIN detectors with thermally evaporated n+ CdS and p+ ZnTe contacts, which are fabricated on high pressure Bridgman CdZnTe (Zn=10%) crystals. The two innovative CdZnTe spectrometer configurations presented here exhibit very low dark (leakage) current. By reducing the dc value of the dark (leakage) current below 1 nA, shot noise becomes the dominant noise mechanism and the contribution of 1/f noise becomes negligible. The use of non-injecting contacts (evaporated gold) for the MSM detectors and the operation of the PIN detector in the reverse bias mode prevent generation-recombination noise which becomes dominant with injecting contacts (for example MSM detectors with evaporated indium and titanium contacts) or when operating the PIN detector in the forward bias mode. Surface leakage is reduced by applying surface passivation but is eliminated only by using the three terminal MSM configuration which exhibits simple shot noise instead of the suppressed shot noise observed in the two terminal MSM spectrometers. The noise measurements are useful for optimizing detector technology.
Key wordsCdZnTe metal-semiconductor-metal (MSM) detectors noise currents x-ray and γ-ray detectors
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