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Performance optimization of an insulated Frisch ring design was investigated for a 3×3×6 mm CdZnTe planar semiconductor detector. The Frisch ring was composed of copper and was insulated from the detector surface with Teflon. Optimization variables included the Frisch ring length and the bias voltage. Optimized overall device performance was found using a 5 mm long Frisch ring extending from the cathode toward the anode, leaving a 1 mm separation between the Frisch ring and the anode. The best energy resolution observed was 1.7% full width at half maximum at 662 keV with the ring extending 4 mm from the cathode toward the anode. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.