Cadmium (Zinc) Telluride (CdZnTe) is a compound semiconductor material composed of Cadmium (Cd), Zinc (zn) and Telluride (Te) atoms.
CdZnTe belongs to the III-VI group of semiconductors, which means it is formed by elements from Group III (Cadmium and Zinc) and Group VI (Telluride) of the periodic table. Cd(Zn)Te is a direct bandgap semiconductor, meaning it can efficiently absorb photons and convert them into electrical signals.
Cadmium (Cd): Cadmium is a transition metal element with atomic number 48. It is commonly used in semiconductors due to its unique electrical properties. In CdZnTe, cadmium provides the basis for the crystal lattice structure and contributes to the overall electronic behavior of the material.
Zinc (Zn): Zinc is another transition metal element with atomic number 30. It is often alloyed with cadmium to form CdZnTe. Zinc’s inclusion helps to improve the structural and electrical properties of the compound. The incorporation of zinc allows for the adjustment of the bandgap energy, lowering the leakage current and the enhancement of the material’s overall performance.
Tellurium (Te): Tellurium is a metalloid element with atomic number 52. It plays a crucial role in CdZnTe as it provides the majority of the material’s electrical properties. Tellurium is the main component responsible for CdZnTe’s semiconducting behavior and its ability to efficiently detect ionizing radiation.
By controlling the ratio of cadmium, zinc, and tellurium in the CdZnTe compound, the material’s properties can be tailored to suit specific applications. The elemental composition affects the bandgap energy, electrical conductivity, charge carrier mobility, and other characteristics of CdZnTe.
CdZnTe is available in small (50-100 mm) size wafers; the material is commercially available in different grades; its price is more expensive than GaAs and it is more fragile than Si or GaAs.