Project TitleThallium and Bismuth Chalco-Halides for X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Semiconductor Detectors
Track Code2010-088
Short Description

A new semiconductor with exponential increase in absorption for medical imaging, security & surveillance, food industry and scientific research

#imaging #healthcare #semiconductor #materials


Northwestern researchers have developed new semiconductor material with widespread applications in medical imaging, security & surveillance, the food industry, and scientific research.  While wide band gap semiconductors are the highly preferred choice for x-ray and gamma-ray radiation detectors since they yield far better energy resolution than other semiconductors, the benchmark compound Cd0.9Zn0.1Te (CZT) has inherent problems related to its growth and fabrication.  Northwestern scientists have identified a new set of compounds that not only meet the criteria for radiation detection but also overcome the limitations of the CZT in a cost-efficient manner.  Their material contains the high Z elements, thallium and bismuth, which exhibits an exponential increase in absorption of incident radiation, which in turn allows for diminished thicknesses within detection systems. 

TagsMATERIALS: semiconductor, HEALTHCARE: imaging
Posted DateSep 3, 2014 12:25 PM


Simon Johnsen

Mercouri Kanatzidis*


  • Medical Imaging:  Improved imaging capabilities
  • Security & Surveillance:  Identification of illegal trafficking of radioisotopes
  • Food Industry:  in situ monitoring of liquid levels in cans, etc.
  • Scientific Research Tool


  • Increased sensitivity
  • More economical
  • Decreased thickness of material


IP Status

Issued US Patent No. 8,519,347

Contact Information

Chao Zhang, PhD
Invention Manager

(p) 847.491.4629