Characterization of bismuth tri-iodide single crystals for wide band-gap semiconductor radiation detectors

Azaree T. Lintereur, Wei Qiu, Juan C. Nino, James Baciak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Bismuth tri-iodide is a wide band-gap semiconductor material that may be able to operate as a radiation detector without any cooling mechanism. This material has a higher effective atomic number than germanium and CdZnTe, and thus should have a higher gamma-ray detection efficiency, particularly for moderate and high energy gamma-rays. Unfortunately, not much is known about bismuth tri-iodide, and the general properties of the material need to be investigated. Bismuth tri-iodide does not suffer from some of the material issues, such as a solid state phase transition and dissociation in air, that mercuric iodide (another high-Z, wide band-gap semiconductor) does. Thus, bismuth tri-iodide is both easier to grow and handle than mercuric iodide. A modified vertical Bridgman growth technique is being used to grow large, single bismuth tri-iodide crystals. Zone refining is being performed to purify the starting material and increase the resistivity of the crystals. The single crystals being grown are typically several hundred mm3. The larger crystals grown are approximately 2 cm3. Initial detectors are being fabricated using both gold and palladium electrodes and palladium wire. The electron mobility measured using an alpha source was determined to be 260±50 cm2/Vs. An alpha spectrum was recorded with one of the devices; however the detector appears to suffer from polarization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-169
Number of pages4
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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