Increase of the surface recombination velocity at high bias voltage in silicon irradiated by neutrons to extremely high fluences

  • J.V. Vaitkus
  • A. Mekys
Keywords: radiation detectors, silicon, photoconductivity, CERN


The upgrading of ionizing radiation detectors is an actual problem especially related to the high energy physics and space research experiments. The simplest way to restore the signal of the irradiation degraded detector is the increase of the detector bias voltage. This method is widely used worldwide, including high energy physics experiments in ATLAS and CMS. This work presents an effect, which was caused by increased bias voltage in detectors irradiated to extreme high neutron fluence at low temperature. The effect could be related to the increase of surface recombination velocity.
The intrinsic photoconductivity spectra were exploited in order to investigate the properties of highly irradiated silicon as this effect depends on parameters that are important in radiation detectors. Two characteristic effects were observed in such highly irradiated samples: the increase of photoconductivity quantum yield and the enhancement of surface recombination at higher bias voltages. The increase of the quantum yield was analyzed in Ref. [1]. The increase of the surface recombination with bias electric field was analyzed in this work as an extension of the performed investigation in the same samples as in Ref. [1]. The investigated silicon samples were irradiated by neutrons to wide range fluence up to 1017 n/cm2.
The origin of this effect was analyzed and related to the radiation clusters, which decrease the free carrier lifetime.