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Performance of bulk SiC radiation detectors

Cunningham, W and Gouldwell, A and Lamb, G and Scott, J and Mathieson, K and Roy, P and Bates, R and Thornton, P and Smith, KM and Cusco, R and Glaser, M and Rahman, M (2002) Performance of bulk SiC radiation detectors. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, 487 (1-2). pp. 33-39. ISSN 0168-9002


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SiC is a wide-gap material with excellent electrical and physical properties that may make it an important material for some future electronic devices. The most important possible applications of SiC are in hostile environments, such as in car/jet engines, within nuclear reactors, or in outer space. Another area where the material properties, most notably radiation hardness, would be valuable is in the inner tracking detectors of particle physics experiments. Here, we describe the performance of SiC diodes irradiated in the 24 GeV proton beam at CERN. Schottky measurements have been used to probe the irradiated material for changes in I–V characteristics. Other methods, borrowed from III–V research, used to study the irradiated surface include atomic force microscope scans and Raman spectroscopy. These have been used to observe the damage to the materials surface and internal lattice structure. We have also characterised the detection capabilities of bulk semi-insulating SiC for α radiation. By measuring the charge collection efficiency (CCE) for variations in bias voltage, CCE values up to 100% have been measured.