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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Recent developments in semiconductor gamma-ray detectors

  • Author(s): Luke, Paul N.
  • Amman, Mark
  • Tindall, Craig
  • Lee, Julie S.
  • et al.

The successful development of lithium-drifted Ge detectors in the 1960's marked the beginning of the significant use of semiconductor crystals for direct detection and spectroscopy of gamma rays. In the 1970's, high-purity Ge became available, which enabled the production of complex detectors and multi-detector systems. In the following decades, the technology of semiconductor gamma-ray detectors continued to advance, with significant developments not only in Ge detectors but also in Si detectors and room-temperature compound-semiconductor detectors. In recent years, our group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a variety of gamma ray detectors based on these semiconductor materials. Examples include Ge strip detectors, lithium-drifted Si strip detectors, and coplanar-grid CdZnTe detectors. These advances provide new capabilities in the measurement of gamma rays, such as the ability to perform imaging and the realization of highly compact spectroscopy systems.

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