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Wafer-fused semiconductor radiation detector

United States Patent

February 26, 2002
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
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Wafer-fused semiconductor radiation detector useful for gamma-ray and x-ray spectrometers and imaging systems. The detector is fabricated using wafer fusion to insert an electrically conductive grid, typically comprising a metal, between two solid semiconductor pieces, one having a cathode (negative electrode) and the other having an anode (positive electrode). The wafer fused semiconductor radiation detector functions like the commonly used Frisch grid radiation detector, in which an electrically conductive grid is inserted in high vacuum between the cathode and the anode. The wafer-fused semiconductor radiation detector can be fabricated using the same or two different semiconductor materials of different sizes and of the same or different thicknesses; and it may utilize a wide range of metals, or other electrically conducting materials, to form the grid, to optimize the detector performance, without being constrained by structural dissimilarity of the individual parts. The wafer-fused detector is basically formed, for example, by etching spaced grooves across one end of one of two pieces of semiconductor materials, partially filling the grooves with a selected electrical conductor which forms a grid electrode, and then fusing the grooved end of the one semiconductor piece to an end of the other semiconductor piece with a cathode and an anode being formed on opposite ends of the semiconductor pieces.
Lee; Edwin Y. (Livermore, CA), James; Ralph B. (Livermore, CA)
Sandia National Laboratories (Livermore, CA)
09/ 298,685
April 23, 1999
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-ACO4-94AL85000 between the United States Department of Energy and the Sandia Corporation for the operation of the Sandia National Laboratories.