Cadmium zinc telluride

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Cadmium zinc telluride, (CdZnTe) or CZT, is a compound of cadmium, zinc and tellurium or, more strictly speaking, an alloy of cadmium telluride and zinc telluride. A direct bandgap semiconductor, it is used in a variety of applications, including semiconductor radiation detectors, photorefractive gratings, electro-optic modulators, solar cells, and terahertz generation and detection. The band gap varies from approximately 1.4 to 2.2 eV, depending on composition.

Radiation detectors using CZT can operate in direct-conversion (or photoconductive) mode at room temperature, unlike some other materials (particularly germanium) which require liquid nitrogen cooling. Their relative advantages include high sensitivity for x-rays and gamma-rays, due to the high atomic numbers of Cd and Te, and better energy resolution than scintillator detectors.[1] CZT can be formed into different shapes for different radiation-detecting applications, and a variety of electrode geometries, such as coplanar grids [2] and small pixel detectors,[3] have been developed to provide unipolar (electron-only) operation, thereby improving energy resolution.


  1. ^ "Small pixel CZT detector for hard X-ray spectroscopy". Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment. 652: 158–161. doi:10.1016/j.nima.2011.01.144.
  2. ^ "Unipolar charge sensing with coplanar electrodes -- application to semiconductor detectors". IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science. 42: 207. doi:10.1109/23.467848.
  3. ^ "Pixellated Cd(Zn)Te high-energy X-ray instrument". IOP Journal of Instrumentation. 6: C12009. doi:10.1088/1748-0221/6/12/C12009. PMC 3378031.
  • Properties of Narrow-Gap Cadmium-Based Compounds Ed. P. Capper (INSPEC, IEE, London, UK, 1994) ISBN 0-85296-880-9

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