A physical mechanism of sensitivity enhancement of organic X-ray detectors with tungsten nanoparticles

  • A. Poškus
  • R. Dobužinskas
  • M. Viliūnas
  • K. Arlauskas
Keywords: hybrid organic-inorganic X-ray sensors, physical mechanism, Monte Carlo simulation


A simple theoretical model explaining the increase of X-ray sensitivity caused by adding tungsten nanoparticles into thin layers of organic materials is proposed. The mentioned increase of sensitivity is caused by quenched electron multiplication due to secondary electron emission from tungsten particles. After some simplifying assumptions, an expression of the electron multiplication factor K is derived for the case when tungsten atoms are uniformly mixed with the matrix material. The main assumption of the model is the existence of a threshold energy Emin of the order of 0.1 eV, below which the recombination of charge carriers prevents them from being accelerated by the electric field to energies sufficient for impact ionization. It is shown that this assumption makes the increase of K and photocurrent with increasing electric field much slower than the exponential increase commonly associated with an electron avalanche, and K may even start to decrease when the electric field strength exceeds a certain value. Another factor, which has an adverse effect on the X-ray sensitivity, is the ionization energy loss of photoelectrons inside metallic nanoparticles. The results of Monte Carlo simulations show that in the case of spherical tungsten particles with 0.8 μm diameter, the latter phenomenon may cause an additional decrease of the sensitivity by as much as 75%. In order to reduce this effect, the size of nanoparticles should be reduced, or, alternatively, most of the photoelectrons should be generated in the organic matrix rather than inside the nanoparticles.
Condensed Matter Physics and Technology