Hard Radiation Detection from the Selenophosphate Pb2P2Se6

Peng L. Wang, Zhifu Liu, Pice Chen, John A. Peters, Gangjian Tan, Jino Im, Wenwen Lin, Arthur J. Freeman, Bruce W. Wessels, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The heavy metal selenophosphate, Pb2P2Se6, is a promising new material for cost-effective X-ray/γ-ray detection. Crystal boules of Pb2P2Se6 up to 25 mm in length and 15 mm in diameter are grown by a vertical Bridgman method. They are cut and processed into size-appropriate wafers for physical, photo-transport property studies, as well as γ-ray detector testing. The material is a semiconductor with an indirect bandgap of 1.88 eV and has electrical resistivity in the range of 1 × 1010 Ω cm. Pb2P2Se6 single crystal samples display a significant photoconductivity response to optical, X-ray, and γ-ray radiation. When tested with a 57Co γ-ray source, Pb2P2Se6 crystals show spectroscopic response and several generated pulse height spectra resolving the 122.1 and 136.5 keV 57Co radiation. The mobility-lifetime product of Pb2P2Se6 is estimated to be ≈3.5 × 10-5 cm2 V-1 for electron carriers. The Pb2P2Se6 compound melts congruently at 812 °C and has robust chemical/physical properties that promise low cost bulk production and detector development. Wide bandgap selenophosphate Pb2P2Se6 is identified as a cost-effective X-ray and γ-ray detector material. The crystal growth of Pb2P2Se6 and characterizations in terms of its optical, electrical, thermal, and mechanical properties are reported. A Pb2P2Se6 single crystal detector is able to resolve 57Co radiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4874-4881
Number of pages8
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2015


  • chalcogenides
  • chalcophosphate
  • gamma-ray detectors
  • semiconductors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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