Germanium is a hard, lustrous, grayish-white metalloid. A germanium wafer is known for its excellent crystallographic properties and unique electric characteristics; thus, it is used in many applications. Examples of its applications are gamma-ray spectroscopy, terrestrial solar cells, sensors, infrared optics, and many other semiconductor applications. In this article, we will discuss to you what you need to know about germanium-based semiconductor detectors.
Germanium used to be the original, most sought-after semiconductor material. But because of its low bandgap, which causes leakage, and thermal sensitivity silicon took its place-since it’s more reliable. A germanium wafer is commonly used as a semiconductor for gamma-ray spectroscopy. Germanium is preferred for this application because of its higher atomic number compared to silicon, which increases its probability of gamma-ray interaction.
Germanium-based semiconductor detectors are mainly utilized for applications that require high-quality energy resolution, like gamma spectroscopy and x-ray spectroscopy. A sizable, clean, and close to perfect germanium semiconductor is suitable for countering radioactivity, but it’s not practical to produce large crystals with ample purity. What’s great about germanium-based detectors is that it can have a reduced, sensitive thickness of centimeters, which is useful as a total assimilation detector for gamma rays up to a couple of MeV.
Detectors need to perform at very low temperatures to attain optimal efficiency. Also, because, at room temperature, the noise produced by the thermal excitation can be very loud. Germanium detectors generate the highest resolution regularly available today. They are utilized for measuring radiation in different applications including environmental and personnel monitoring for radioactive pollution, radiometric assay, medical applications, nuclear security, and nuclear plant safety.
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