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The dynamic lateral polarization and charge steering effect was studied in 2D pixilated CdZnTe monolithic detector arrays designed for high flux X-ray imaging applications. While these detectors have shown the ability to work at 15 times 106 counts s-1 mm-2 and higher count-rates in pulse mode, we observed some detectors that exhibited a dynamic lateral polarization and charge steering effect causing non-uniform spatial response to the radiation field. The dynamic nature of the effect is shown by its flux dependence and reversibility upon changing the X-ray flux without a requirement to turn off the bias voltage. The effect causes the induced charge that would normally move from the cathode towards the anode to instead move laterally causing counts to shift away from a flux boundary. We show that the effect is not related to the physical boundary of the detector but rather related to the boundary of the irradiated area of the device. The dynamic polarization and charge steering effect can be attributed to the limited hole transport in the bulk material causing a buildup of a dynamic space-charge region under the irradiated area. The resulting lateral (perpendicular to the irradiation direction) electric field causes the lateral drift (steering) of the X-ray injected charge clouds. The static version of such lateral steering is often observed for charged structural defects in CdZnTe crystals. The studied 2D CdZnTe monolithic arrays were 16 times16 pixel devices having 0.4 mm times 0.4 mm area pixels on a 0.5 mm pitch and were fabricated using 8.7 mm times 8.7 mm times3.0 mm CdZnTe single crystals grown by the high-pressure electro-dynamic gradient freeze technique. The devices were probe tested in a system consisting of a custom 16 times16 pin probe head, 256 channel read-out electronics utilizing 8-channel fast bipolar ASIC chips, and a computer controlled 120 kVp X-ray source.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2007