Thermally stimulated current spectroscopy (TSC) was performed on a variety of mercuric iodide samples and detectors to determine the nature and origin of deep traps in this material. It is shown that the trap type and concentration is a function of the metal overlayer employed as a contact material. The energy barrier height as well as the type (electron or hole) of barrier at the metal/semiconductor interface has also been determined by internal photoemission measurements. When polarization effects are not present, as is the case in most Pd contacted samples, the barrier height can be accurately determined by this technique. A value of 1.05 eV was measured for a hole barrier at the Pd/Hgl 2 interface.