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Thallium Bromide (TlBr) Semiconductors


A new approach to extend the life of Thallium Bromide (TlBr) crystals and devices


Researchers from Sandia National Labs have created a new approach to extend the life of thallium bromide (TlBr) crystals, enabling the development of high-performance gamma ray spectrometers. TlBr has electronic properties needed for efficient room temperature gamma ray spectrometers; however, the properties can degrade rapidly under electric fields required for this application. New simulations indicate that dislocations in TIBr crystals move in response to electric fields applied to the crystals. This creates charged vacancies in the crystal lattice, which limit the operable lifetime of the device due to crystal polarization and electrical contact corrosion. The significance of this finding is that the useful life of TlBr crystals and detectors can be extended by controlling resolved electromotive forces on mobile defects, defect densities, and their mobilities. Sandia’s approach to manufacturing TlBr crystals includes a variety of techniques and processes to inhibit formation or migration of these dislocations.


  • Higher photopeak efficiency than has been achieved in commercially available CZT
  • Reduced rates of aging/delayed degradation in TlBr devices
  • Easily implemented new manufacturing techniques

Applications and Industries

  • Radiation detection
  • Biomedical (devices and medical imaging)
  • Semiconductors
  • Industrial equipment design and fabrication

Intellectual Property

ID Number
Patent Number
Thallium bromide (TIBr) semiconductors and devices with extended life apparatus, methods, and system 14052.1 10,516,068 12/24/2019
Technology IDSD# 14052AvailabilityAvailablePublished06/16/2020Last Updated06/16/2020