Investigation of defect levels in Cs 2Hg 6S 7 single crystals by photoconductivity and photoluminescence spectroscopies

J. A. Peters*, Nam Ki Cho, Zhifu Liu, B. W. Wessels, Hao Li, J. Androulakis, M. G. Kanatzidis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The heavy element semiconductor compound Cs 2Hg 6S 7 is of interest as a potential wide gap semiconductor for gamma ray detection. To determine electrically active defects and their energy levels, photoconductivity (PC) spectroscopy was carried out over the temperature range of 90-295 K. The low temperature spectrum exhibits photoconductive transitions at 1.495, 1.61, 1.66, and 1.68 eV. The optical transitions are tentatively attributed to defects with levels located at energies of 50, 70, 120, and 240 meV from the band edge. A superlinear dependence of photocurrent on illumination intensity is observed that is attributed to a two-center recombination process that involves shallow traps and recombination centers. Near band edge photoluminescence (PL) was observed over the temperature range of 24-80 K. The spectrum revealed three defect related emission bands located at 1.68, 1.66, and 1.62 eV, whose ionization energies are 57 meV, 78 meV, and 115 meV, respectively. From the temperature and excitation dependencies of the observed peak intensities and energies, the radiative recombination mechanisms of the bands were attributed to transitions involving excitons bound to neutral and ionized acceptors. Good agreement of the defect level energies determined by PL and PC were noted, indicating that they were of the same origin. The defects were tentatively attributed to metal vacancies that form shallow acceptor levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number063702
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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