Embodiments disclosed herein relate to photon detectors configured to employ the Gunn effect for detecting high-energy photons (e.g., x-rays and gamma rays) and methods of use. In an embodiment, a photon detector for detecting high-energy photons is disclosed. The photon detector includes a p-i-n semiconductor diode having a p-type semiconductor region, an n-type semiconductor region, and a compensated i-region disposed between the p-type semiconductor region and the n-type semiconductor region. The compensated i-region and has a width of about 100 .mu.m to about 400 .mu.m and is configured to exhibit the Gunn effect when the p-i-n semiconductor diode is forward biased a sufficient amount. The compensated i-region is doped to include a free carrier concentration of less than about 10.sup.10 cm.sup.-3.
STATEMENT REGARDING GOVERNMENT RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with Government support under government contract no. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation. The Government has certain rights in the invention, including a paid-up license and the right, in limited circumstances, to require the owner of any patent issuing in this invention to license others on reasonable terms.