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Irradiation of P-N Junctions with Gamma Rays: A Method for Measuring Diffusion Lengths

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1 Author(s)
Gremmelmaier, R. ; Research Lab., Siemens-Schuckertwerke, Erlangen, Germany

The photovoltaic effect in p-n junctions can be used to measure the diffusion lengths of minority carriers in a semiconductor. The short-circuit current in an irradiated p-n junction is Ik=egL, where e is the electron charge, g the generation rate (number of electron-hole pairs per unit volume and unit time generated by the radiation), and L a quantity which equals the diffusion length if the position of the p-n junction is suitably chosen. If g is known, the diffusion length can be calculated from the short-circuit current. The generation rate can easily be calculated if the junction is irradiated by ¿ rays from a Co60 source. The method will be described more closely in this paper. Diffusion lengths were measured in Si, GaAs, and InP containing a p-n junction. In GaAs diffusion lengths up to 8 ¿ were measured, and up to 130 ¿ in InP.

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Proceedings of the IRE  (Volume:46 ,  Issue: 6 )