The electron-hole pair production energy (∼ 4.43 eV) in cadmium telluride semiconductor based detector would allow, in principle, to achieve spectroscopic performance close to germanium. In fact the material impurities, crystal lattice defects and low charge mobility, mainly for holes, can severely degrade the spectroscopic properties through charge trapping/detrapping and recombination phenomena, limiting the usable distance between the electrodes. The charge collection efficiency depends, following the Hecht relation, on the distance between the charge production location and the collecting cathode; we have studied the dependence of some CdTe spectroscopic parameters (energy resolution, photo-peak gain and efficiency) from this distance. A set of experimental tests were performed using a well collimated photon beam. The beam spot, obtained from a 57Co radioactive source through a thick (20 mm) tungsten collimator having a 0.2×2 mm window, was positioned between the two electrodes of a CdTe crystal of size 3×5×2 mm3, with the electrodes deposited on the 3×5 mm2 sides.
The detector was irradiated on the face having the area of 2×3 mm2, in the arrangement with the collecting field orthogonal to the incoming radiation (PTF configuration), and the largest side of the spot parallel to the electrode plane. Using a micro-positioning system a fine scanning of the interelectrodic region was performed.
In order to evaluate the detector behavior in a wider energy range, further tests using energies between 14 keV to 662 keV have been performed.
The results of these measurements are presented and discussed in order to emphasize a method to improve CdTe detector spectroscopic capabilities and to understand the detection behavior