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Title: Wide bandgap semiconductor radiation detectors for extreme environments
Author: Lioliou, Grammatiki
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2017
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Wide bandgap semiconductor photodiodes were investigated for their suitability as radiation detectors for high temperature applications (≥ 20 °C), through measurements, calculations of key parameters of the devices, and relating the results back to the material, geometry of the detectors, environment under which the detectors were investigated, and previously published work. Three families of photodiodes were examined. 4H-SiC vertical Schottky UV photodiodes with Ni2Si interdigitated contacts were characterised for their response under dark and UV illumination. Electrical characterisation up to 120 °C and room temperature responsivity measurements (210 nm to 380 nm) suggested that the devices could operate at low UV light intensities, even at high visible and IR backgrounds without the use of filters, and at high temperatures. 4H-SiC Schottky photodiode detector arrays with planar thin NiSi contacts were investigated for X-ray (≤ 35 keV) detection and photon counting spectroscopy at 33 °C. The electrical characterisation of the devices up to 140 °C and subsequent analysis suggested that the devices are likely to operate as high temperature X-ray spectrometers. Results characterising GaAs p+-i-n+ mesa photodiode detectors for their room temperature visible and near infrared responsivity (580 nm to 870 nm), as well as their high temperature (≤ 60 °C) X-ray detection performance (at 5.9 keV) are presented. GaAs p+-i-n+ mesa photodiodes were also shown to be suitable for β- particle (electron) spectroscopy and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (≤ 21 keV) at 33 °C. The X-ray and electron spectroscopic measurements were supported by a comprehensive treatment of the noise components in charge sensitive preamplifiers. Calculations showed the potential benefits of using a SiC, rather than Si, JFET as the input transistor of such a preamplifier operating at high temperatures. The spectroscopic measurements, using both the 4H-SiC and GaAs photodiodes, are presented along with noise analysis to detangle the different noise components present in the reported spectrometers, identify the dominant source of noise, and suggest potential improvements for future spectrometers using the reported devices.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TK7871.89.S35 Schottky-barrier diodes