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Cost-Effective Identification of Novel, Semiconductor Detector Materials

IB-2199

APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:

  • Identifying new semiconductor detector materials used to fabricate
    • Nuclear detectors for X-ray and gamma-ray spectrometers
    • Portable detectors for identifying radioactive isotopes
  • The advancement of physics, homeland security, and nuclear non-proliferation

ADVANTAGES:

  • Provides more accurate screening of materials than conventional band-gap-measurement methods
  • Identifies cost-effective substitutes for more expensive materials
  • Enables the discovery of entirely new semiconductor materials

ABSTRACT:

Stephen Derenzo and Edith Bourret-Courchesne of Berkeley Lab have invented a technology for identifying new semiconductor detector materials.   The new method offers more accurate materials identification at a lower cost by eliminating the need for trial and error screening.   In addition, the technology has enabled the identification of several new semiconductor detector materials that can be used for optoelectronics and radiation detectors: BiOI, PbIF, PbBi2I, PbBiOI, Pb3O2I2, Pb5O4I2 , Bi2GdO4Cl, BiPbO2CI, and BiPbO2Br.

The technology differs from the conventional method of using band-gap measurements alone.   Using a device developed by the inventors, semiconductor detector materials are identified by measuring the difference between the conductivity of a crystalline powder compound receiving an electrical voltage and the conductivity of the same compound receiving an electrical voltage while being irradiated.   The new device and process eliminate guesswork; only semiconductors have a current generated by ionizing radiation that can be detected by external electrodes, while both semiconductors and insulators can have a band-gap range between 1.5 and 3.5 eV.

The invention also promises to identify new semiconductor detector materials that have higher stopping power and can be fabricated at a lower cost than available materials for use in making more sophisticated heavy-atom, ultra-fast, luminous semiconductor scintillators.

STATUS:

  • Published patent application US-2009-0212395-A1 available at USPTO. Available for licensing or collaborative research.

To learn more about licensing a technology from LBNL see http://www.lbl.gov/Tech-Transfer/licensing/index.html.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Derenzo, S.E., E. Bourret-Courchesne, F.J. James, M.K. Klintenberg, Y. Porter-Chapman, J. Wang, and M.J. Weber, " Identifying semiconductors by D.C. ionization conductivity," Nuclear Science Symposium Conference Record, 2005 IEEE 2 , 1132-1134 (23-29 Oct. 2005).

REFERENCE NUMBER: IB-2199

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