Preliminary Studies of Charge Carrier Transport in Mercuric Iodide Radiation Detectors

Author(s): Jorge Llacer ; Michael M. K. Watt ; M. Schieber ; R. Carlston ; W. Schnepple
Sponsor(s): IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society
Publisher: IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.
Publication Date: 1 February 1974
Volume: 21
Page(s): 305 - 314
ISSN (Paper): 0018-9499
ISSN (Online): 1558-1578
DOI: 10.1109/TNS.1974.4327476



Mercuric iodide single crystals have been grown by static and dynamic sublimation methods. Characteristics of contacts and detector capacitance have been studied by photon excitation methods. Gamma and X-ray spectrometry has been carried out with completed detectors showing resolutions comparable to the best results published to date. A measurement of hole trapping length has been made from the spectral shapes observed and has been found to be approximately 0.3 mm. Transient waveform analysis with alpha-particle excitation shows hole mobilities of approximately 3 cm2/V-sec for a highly purified crystal and 0.05 for an expected less pure crystal. Electron mobilities of 120 cm2/V-sec are observed. An attempt is made to explain the observed transient waveforms in terms of a single dominant trap model, with only partial success. Due to the strongly excitonic character of the material, it is proposed that the unfamiliar observations made regarding transport properties with the HgI2 detectors studied may be due to exciton dissociation under high electric fields, to long exciton lifetimes and to interactions between excitons and trapping centers in the material.