Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Don Morel, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dr. Christos Ferekides, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dr. Y.L Chiou, Ph.D.


HgI2, photodetectors, optoelectronics, MEDICI, compound semiconductors


The ability of Mercuric Iodide (HgI2) to function as a highly efficient radiation detector at room temperature has generated great interest and has triggered further studies on this difficult material. This property is expected to enable significant enhancements to a far-ranging variety of applications and systems. HgI2 devices have shown superior performance at room temperature compared to elemental Si or Ge devices, which require to be cooled down to liquid nitrogen temperature when used as nuclear radiation detectors. While substantial studies have been conducted on single crystal HgI2, polycrystalline HgI2 remains a comparatively less studied form of this material.

The primary use of HgI2 is as a direct radiation detector. It can also be used in applications with a scintillator intermediate to generate visible light from incident nuclear radiation. Hence its response to visible light can be used to study the electronic properties of HgI2 polycrystalline films.

The films are deposited on TEC-15 LOF glass with a Tin Oxide(Sn02) coating which acts as the growth surface. It also acts as the front contact with Palladium (Pd) being the back contact. Wire leads are attached to the palladium for electrical contact. The deposited films are circular in shape with a diameter of 2.5cm with thickness ranging from 50 to 600µm. A maximum of 7 devices are contacted at various points on every film.

For the measurements documented in this thesis, a tungsten-halogen lamp and an Oriel 1/4m grating monochromator are used as a light source. The incident flux on the sample is determined using a Si photodiode as reference. Device performance for both single crystal as well as polycrystalline films is documented. We have attempted to identify a set of optimum growth parameters using these measurements. For a film to be considered favorably, not only should the individual devices show high quantum efficiencies and low dark currents, but the response of all devices on the same film should be uniform. A number of films are studied and the optimum film deposition conditions are commented upon.

A powerful semiconductor device simulation tool, MEDICItm, is used to simulate the photoresponse of these films. The simulations are compared to the measurements and the transport and light absorption parameters of the polycrystalline films are determined.