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Title: Neutron detection using boron gallium nitride semiconductor material

Abstract

In this study, we developed a new neutron-detection device using a boron gallium nitride (BGaN) semiconductor in which the B atom acts as a neutron converter. BGaN and gallium nitride (GaN) samples were grown by metal organic vapor phase epitaxy, and their radiation detection properties were evaluated. GaN exhibited good sensitivity to α-rays but poor sensitivity to γ-rays. Moreover, we confirmed that electrons were generated in the depletion layer under neutron irradiation. This resulted in a neutron-detection signal after α-rays were generated by the capture of neutrons by the B atoms. These results prove that BGaN is useful as a neutron-detecting semiconductor material.

Authors:
 [1]; ;  [2]; ;  [3]
  1. Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Shizuoka University, 3-5-1 Johoku, Naka-ku, Hamamatsu 432-8561 (Japan)
  2. Department of Electrical and Materials Science, Graduate School of Engineering, Shizuoka University, 3-5-1 Johoku, Naka-ku, Hamamatsu 432-8561 (Japan)
  3. Research Institute of Electronics, Shizuoka University, 3-5-1 Johoku, Naka-ku, Hamamatsu 432-8011 (Japan)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22269548
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: APL Materials; Journal Volume: 2; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: (c) 2014 Author(s); Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; DEPLETION LAYER; GALLIUM NITRIDES; IRRADIATION; NEUTRON CONVERTERS; NEUTRON DETECTION; NEUTRONS; SEMICONDUCTOR MATERIALS; SENSITIVITY; VAPOR PHASE EPITAXY

Citation Formats

Atsumi, Katsuhiro, Inoue, Yoku, Nakano, Takayuki, E-mail: ttnakan@ipc.shizuoka.ac.jp, Mimura, Hidenori, and Aoki, Toru. Neutron detection using boron gallium nitride semiconductor material. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4868176.
Atsumi, Katsuhiro, Inoue, Yoku, Nakano, Takayuki, E-mail: ttnakan@ipc.shizuoka.ac.jp, Mimura, Hidenori, & Aoki, Toru. Neutron detection using boron gallium nitride semiconductor material. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4868176.
Atsumi, Katsuhiro, Inoue, Yoku, Nakano, Takayuki, E-mail: ttnakan@ipc.shizuoka.ac.jp, Mimura, Hidenori, and Aoki, Toru. Sat . "Neutron detection using boron gallium nitride semiconductor material". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4868176.
@article{osti_22269548,
title = {Neutron detection using boron gallium nitride semiconductor material},
author = {Atsumi, Katsuhiro and Inoue, Yoku and Nakano, Takayuki, E-mail: ttnakan@ipc.shizuoka.ac.jp and Mimura, Hidenori and Aoki, Toru},
abstractNote = {In this study, we developed a new neutron-detection device using a boron gallium nitride (BGaN) semiconductor in which the B atom acts as a neutron converter. BGaN and gallium nitride (GaN) samples were grown by metal organic vapor phase epitaxy, and their radiation detection properties were evaluated. GaN exhibited good sensitivity to α-rays but poor sensitivity to γ-rays. Moreover, we confirmed that electrons were generated in the depletion layer under neutron irradiation. This resulted in a neutron-detection signal after α-rays were generated by the capture of neutrons by the B atoms. These results prove that BGaN is useful as a neutron-detecting semiconductor material.},
doi = {10.1063/1.4868176},
journal = {APL Materials},
number = 3,
volume = 2,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2014},
month = {Sat Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2014}
}
  • With the largest band gap energy of all commercial semiconductors, GaN has found wide application in the making of optoelectronic devices. It has also been used for photodetection such as solar blind imaging as well as ultraviolet and even X-ray detection. Unsurprisingly, the appreciable advantages of GaN over Si, amorphous silicon (a-Si:H), SiC, amorphous SiC (a-SiC), and GaAs, particularly for its radiation hardness, have drawn prompt attention from the physics, astronomy, and nuclear science and engineering communities alike, where semiconductors have traditionally been used for nuclear particle detection. Several investigations have established the usefulness of GaN for alpha detection, suggestingmore » that when properly doped or coated with neutron sensitive materials, GaN could be turned into a neutron detection device. Work in this area is still early in its development, but GaN-based devices have already been shown to detect alpha particles, ultraviolet light, X-rays, electrons, and neutrons. Furthermore, the nuclear reaction presented by {sup 14}N(n,p){sup 14}C and various other threshold reactions indicates that GaN is intrinsically sensitive to neutrons. This review summarizes the state-of-the-art development of GaN detectors for detecting directly and indirectly ionizing radiation. Particular emphasis is given to GaN's radiation hardness under high-radiation fields.« less
  • Cited by 7
  • Cited by 7
  • Here, neutron detectors fabricated from 10B enriched hexagonal boron nitride (h- 10BN or h-BN) epilayers have demonstrated the highest thermal neutron detection efficiency among solid-state neutron detectors to date at about 53%. In this work, photoconductive-like vertical detectors with a detection area of 1 × 1 mm 2 were fabricated from 50 μm thick free-standing h-BN epilayers using Ni/Au and Ti/Al bilayers as ohmic contacts. Leakage currents, mobility-lifetime (μτ) products under UV photoexcitation, and neutron detection efficiencies have been measured for a total of 16 different device configurations. The results have unambiguously identified that detectors incorporating the Ni/Au bilayer onmore » both surfaces as ohmic contacts and using the negatively biased top surface for neutron irradiation are the most desired device configurations. It was noted that high growth temperatures of h- 10BN epilayers on sapphire substrates tend to yield a higher concentration of oxygen impurities near the bottom surface, leading to a better device performance by the chosen top surface for irradiation than by the bottom. Preferential scattering of oxygen donors tends to reduce the mobility of holes more than that of electrons, making the biasing scheme with the ability of rapidly extracting holes at the irradiated surface while leaving the electrons to travel a large average distance inside the detector at a preferred choice. When measured against a calibrated 6LiF filled micro-structured semiconductor neutron detector, it was shown that the optimized configuration has pushed the detection efficiency of h-BN neutron detectors to 58%. These detailed studies also provided a better understanding of growth-mediated impurities in h-BN epilayers and their effects on the charge collection and neutron detection efficiencies.« less