Synthetic CdZnTe or “CZT” crystals are highly suitable for γ-spectrometers operating at the room temperature. Secondary phases (SP) in CZT are known to inhibit detector performance, particularly when they are present in large numbers or dimensions. These SP may exist as voids or composites of non-cubic phase metallic Te layers with bodies of polycrystalline and amorphous CZT material and voids. Defects associated with crystal twining may also influence detector performance in CZT. Using transmission electron microscopy, we identify two types of defects that are on the nano scale. The first defect consists of 40 nm diameter metallic Pd/Te bodies on the grain boundaries of Te-rich composites. Although the nano-Pd/Te bodies around these composites may be unique to the growth source of this CZT material, noble metal impurities like these may contribute to SP formation in CZT. The second defect type consists of atom-scale grain boundary dislocations. Specifically, these involve inclined “finite-sized” planar defects or interfaces between layers of atoms that are associated with twins. Finite-sized twins may be responsible for the subtle but observable striations that can be seen with optical birefringence imaging and synchrotron X-ray topographic imaging.
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