Fabrication and characterization of high-purity germanium detectors with amorphous germanium contacts
Large, high-purity, germanium (HPGe) detectors are needed for neutrinoless double-beta decay and dark matter experiments. Currently, large (> 4 inches in diameter) HPGe crystals can be grown at the University of South Dakota (USD). We verify that the quality of the grown crystals is sufficient for use in large detectors by fabricating and characterizing smaller HPGe detectors made from those crystals. We report the results from eight detectors fabricated over six months using crystals grown at USD. Amorphous germanium (a-Ge) contacts are used for blocking both electrons and holes. Two types of geometry were used to fabricate HPGe detectors. As a result, the fabrication process of small planar detectors at USD is discussed in great detail. The impact of the procedure and geometry on the detector performance was analyzed for eight detectors. We characterized the detectors by measuring the leakage current, capacitance, and energy resolution at 662 keV with a Cs-137 source. Four detectors show good performance, which indicates that crystals grown at USD are suitable for making HPGe detectors.