Nanosemiconductor-base Sensor Development – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Nanosemiconductor-base Sensor Development

Madison Grenke


Pronouns: she/her

Research Mentor(s): Mark Hammig, Associate Research Scientist
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, College of Engineering
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 2 (11am – 11:50am)
Breakout Room: Room 16
Presenter: 2

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Existing sensors of x-rays and nuclear radiation suffer from either poor energy resolution or high cost or both. Solution-based synthesis allows one to achieve facile, scalable, low-cost synthesis. Nanosemiconductors allow one to control the thermal noise in the material which governs the energy resolution. We therefore have developed nanosemiconductor, solution-based sensors composed of lead telluride (PbTe) nanoparticles to create high resolution, low cost radiation detectors. We make PbTe nanoparticle semiconductors via an aqueous process, with particles that are then filtered through an aramid nanofiber (ANF) to create a semiconductor. The resulting solid is then tested after creating an electric field across the material. The nanocomposite detectors are exposed to gamma-ray sources and the resulting spectral distributions are measured. Our bare PbTe-ANF detectors have energy resolutions comparable to single-crystalline cadmium-telluride detectors. We have also developed conductive contacts composed of copper and lead nanoparticles that are under optimization, the goal of which is to improve the uniformity of the electromagnetic field and thereby increase the intrinsic detection efficiency of the solids.

Authors: Madison Grenke, Mark Hammig
Research Method: Experimental Research

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