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An analytical method based on a new theoretical model for the x‐ray energy responses of silicon surface‐barrier (SSB) detectors has been proposed. This method may address a recent confusing issue in the x‐ray detection characteristics of SSB semiconductor detectors; that is, the x‐ray responses of SSB detectors as well as p‐i‐n diodes used in underbiased operations were recently found to be contrary to the commonly held belief that the x‐ray sensitivity of an SSB detector is determined by the thickness of the depletion layer. The model presented includes a signal contribution from thermally diffusing charge that is created in the field‐free substrate region within a diffusion length from the depletion layer along with a signal contribution from charge created in the depletion layer. This model predicts a large signal contribution from the charge‐diffusion effect on the SSB responses to high‐energy x rays. Formulas and calculated results supporting SSB calibration data have been represented. These analytical methods might be developed to apply the analyses and predictions of energy responses of various types of silicon detectors including p‐i‐n diodes as well as charge‐coupled devices.