Semiconductor Radiation Detectors  book cover
1st Edition

Semiconductor Radiation Detectors

ISBN 9781138070745
Published June 11, 2019 by CRC Press
518 Pages 280 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Choice Recommended Title, July 2020

Bringing together material scattered across many disciplines, Semiconductor Radiation Detectors provides readers with a consolidated source of information on the properties of a wide range of semiconductors; their growth, characterization and the fabrication of radiation sensors with emphasis on the X- and gamma-ray regimes. It explores the promise and limitations of both the traditional and new generation of semiconductors and discusses where the future in semiconductor development and radiation detection may lie.

The purpose of this book is two-fold; firstly to serve as a text book for those new to the field of semiconductors and radiation detection and measurement, and secondly as a reference book for established researchers working in related disciplines within physics and engineering.


  • The only comprehensive book covering this topic
  • Fully up-to-date with new developments in the field
  • Provides a wide-ranging source of further reference material

Table of Contents

1. Introduction to Radiation and Its Detection: An Historical Perspective

2. Semiconductors

3. Crystal Structure

4. Growth Techniques

5. Contacting Systems

6. Detector Fabrication

7. Detector Characterization

8. Radiation Detection and Measurement

9. Materials Used for General Radiation Detection

10. Current Materials Used for Neutron Detection

11. Performance Limiting Factors

12. Improving Performance

13. Future Directions in Radiation Detection

Appendix A: Supplementary Reference Material and Further Reading List

Appendix B: Table of Physical Constants

Appendix C: Units and Conversions

Appendix D: Periodic Table of the Elements

Appendix E: Properties of the Elements

Appendix F: General Properties of Semiconducting Materials

Appendix G: Radiation Environments

Appendix H: Table of Radioactive Calibration Sources

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Dr. Alan Owens holds an undergraduate honours degree in physics and physical electronics and earned his doctorate in astrophysics from the University of Durham, United Kingdom. He spent over 35 years engaged in the design and construction of novel detection systems for X- and gamma-ray astronomy, mostly as a staff physicist at the European Space Agency's European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands and presently as a Senior Advisor at the Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics in Prague in the Czech Republic. Dr. Owens has previously authored Compound Semiconductor Radiation Detector (CRC Press, 2012).

He also holds an honorary senior lectureship in space science at the University of Leicester, United Kingdom. Dr. Owens is currently involved in the development and exploitation of new technologies for space applications. Much of this work revolves around compound semiconductors for radiation detection and measurement, which by its very nature involves materials and systems at a low maturity level. Consequently, he has been involved in all aspects of a systematic and long-term program on material assessment, production, processing, detector fabrication and characterization for a large number of compound semiconductors.


"In this work, Owens (Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics, Czech Republic) offers an up-to-date, encyclopedic assessment of modern radiation detection. Following a succinct historical retelling of the discovery of radiation and radiation detectors in chapter 1, chapters 2 and 3 present an exhaustive review of solid state physics at the upper-division undergraduate level, similar to material encountered in a one-semester course using C. Kittel’s Introduction to Solid State Physics (8th ed., 2005). However, Owens prefers to use the relevant quantum mechanical results (e.g., Bloch functions) rather than their derivations.

The core of this volume discusses in detail the materials, fabrication, and characterization of semiconductor devices, including growth techniques and contact characteristics (electrode deposition), going far beyond the typical silicon and gallium arsenide examples. The final chapter explores the future of detector materials including nanoscintillators and biological detectors, as well as radiation detection using spintronics.

The addition of extensive references after each chapter and a useful set of appendixes (including calibration sources and a handy table of radionuclides) assures that this volume is well suited for senior engineering and physics students and researchers alike.

Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals.

—J. F. Burkhart, emeritus, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs"