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The Pockels electro-optic effect can be used to investigate the internal electric field in cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) single crystals that are used to fabricate room temperature x and gamma radiation detectors. An agreement is found between the electric field mapping obtained from Pockels effect images and the measurements of charge transients generated by alpha particles. The Pockels effect images of a CZT detector along two mutually perpendicular directions are used to optimize the detector response in a dual anode configuration, a device in which the symmetry of the internal electric field with respect to the anode strips is of critical importance. The Pockels effect is also used to map the electric field in a CZT detector with dual anodes and an attempt is made to find a correlation with the simulated electric potential in such detectors. Finally, the stress-induced birefringence effects seen in the Pockels images are presented and discussed.