A final report for: Gallium arsenide P-I-N detectors for high-sensitivity imaging of thermal neutrons

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This SBIR Phase I developed neutron detectors made from gallium arsenide (GaAs) p-type/ intrinsic/n-type (P-I-N) diodes grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) onto semi-insulating (S1) bulk GaAs wafers. A layer of isotonically enriched boron-10 evaporated onto the front surface serves to convert incoming neutrons into lithium ions and a 1.47 MeV alpha particle which creates electron-hole pairs that are detected by the GaAs diode. Various thicknesses of ''intrinsic'' (I) undoped GaAs were tested, as was use of a back-surface field (BSF) formed from a layer of Al{sub x}Ga{sub 1-x}As. Schottky-barrier diodes formed from the same structures without the p+ ... continued below

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43 p.

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Vernon, Stanley M. April 1, 1999.

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Description

This SBIR Phase I developed neutron detectors made from gallium arsenide (GaAs) p-type/ intrinsic/n-type (P-I-N) diodes grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) onto semi-insulating (S1) bulk GaAs wafers. A layer of isotonically enriched boron-10 evaporated onto the front surface serves to convert incoming neutrons into lithium ions and a 1.47 MeV alpha particle which creates electron-hole pairs that are detected by the GaAs diode. Various thicknesses of ''intrinsic'' (I) undoped GaAs were tested, as was use of a back-surface field (BSF) formed from a layer of Al{sub x}Ga{sub 1-x}As. Schottky-barrier diodes formed from the same structures without the p+ GaAs top layer were tested as a comparison. After mesa etching and application of contacts, devices were tested in visible light before application of the boron coating. Internal quantum efficiency (IQE) of the best diode near the GaAs bandedge is over 90%. The lowest dark current measured is 1 x 10{sup -12} amps at -1 V on a 3mm x 3mm diode, or a density of 1.1 x 10{sup -11} amps cm{sup -2}, with many of the diode structures tested having nearly similar results. The PIN diodes were significantly better than the Schottky barrier device, which had six orders of magnitude higher dark current. Diodes were characterized in terms of their current-mode response to 5.5 MeV alpha particles from 241-Americium. These radiation-induced currents were as high as 9.78 x 10{sup -7} A cm{sup -1} on a PIN device with an Al{sub x}Ga{sub 1-x}As BSF. Simple PIN diodes had currents as high as 2.44 x 10{sup -7} A cm{sup -2}, with thicker undoped layers showing better sensitivity. Boron coatings were applied, and response to neutrons tested at University of Michigan by Dr. Doug McGregor. Devices with PIN and Schottky barrier designs showed neutron detection efficiencies as high as 2% on 5 {micro}m thick devices, with no need for external bias voltages. PIN diodes showed higher breakdown voltages and lower noise characteristics than did the Schottky barrier design. Uniformity of device operation across the wafer was excellent, indicating that multi-pixel array fabrication should be straightforward, Phase II plans include diode optimization, further exploration of the BSF effect, optimization of the fabrication process, and development and testing of multi-element arrays.

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43 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE00770836

Medium: P; Size: 43 pages

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  • Other Information: PBD: 1 Apr 1999

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  • Report No.: DOE/ER/82672
  • Report No.: FR-60412
  • Grant Number: FG02-98ER82672
  • DOI: 10.2172/770836 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 770836
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc717010

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Creation Date

  • April 1, 1999

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 29, 2015, 5:31 a.m.

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  • April 12, 2017, 4:07 p.m.

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Vernon, Stanley M. A final report for: Gallium arsenide P-I-N detectors for high-sensitivity imaging of thermal neutrons, report, April 1, 1999; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc717010/: accessed October 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.