It is well known that group III elements act as donors if they play a substitutional role at the metallic site in II-tellurides; nevertheless, several studies report both on the creation of complexes with vacancies, named A-centers, and on the involvement in self-compensation mechanisms, especially for indium. The boron concentration in II-tellurides is negligible, and its contribution to transport mechanisms has not been studied yet. For the last few years the authors have been developing a new technique to grow CdZnTe by the vertical Bridgman technique, taking advantage of encapsulation by means of boron oxide. In this way, crystals characterized by large single grains, low etch pit density, and high resistivity have been obtained. Recently, x-ray detectors with state-of-the-art performance have been produced from such crystals. Boron contamination, as a consequence of this growth method, is quite low but at least one order of magnitude above values obtained with other growth techniques. Besides being a low-cost technique which is also suitable for large-scale mass production, the encapsulated vertical Bridgman technique is quite useful to prevent dislocations, grain boundaries, and stacking faults; for these reasons, careful characterization was performed to understand the effect of boron both on the electrical properties and on the spectroscopic performance of the final crystals. Our characterization is mainly based on low-temperature photoluminescence in addition to electrical current–voltage measurements, photostimulated current, and x-ray spectroscopy. The results indicate that boron behaves like other group III elements; in fact, boron forms a complex that does not affect the good performance of our x-ray detectors, even if it shows some properties which are typical of A-centers.
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