Thin-Window P-Type Point-Contact Germanium Detectors for Rare Particle Detection 45c
DOE Nuclear Physics low-background rare-particle detection arrays require germanium detectors having the minimum possible background and maximum sensitivity. Larger p-type point-contact germanium detectors having better performance are being experimentally developed through collaboration with DOE low-background researchers. Semiconductor-detector fabrication improvements and electronic-discrimination techniques are being developed to diminish background and improve the sensitivity of these detectors. A new detector-contact technology was developed and demonstrated to have properties providing higher-sensitivity germanium detectors with lower background. The feasibility of the new contact was established through the fabrication, testing, and comparison of numerous detectors with different types of contacts. The thickness of the new contact will be determined and background-rejection techniques will be developed through alpha- particle spectroscopy. Larger germanium detectors will be iteratively developed through the fabrication and testing of subsequently larger detectors. These new detectors will be the product line to be marketed.Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: In addition to immediate impact at DOE user facilities performing rare-particle detection measurements, the enabling detector-contact technology will impact nuclear security and nuclear medicine. Molecular imaging in nuclear medicine represents the most significant commercial application. From growing germanium crystals to constructing final detector systems, the germanium-detector manufacturing process will always require good scientists, engineers, technicians, and association with research scientists at DOE laboratories.
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