New Functionality of Chalcogenide Glasses for Radiation Sensing of Nuclear Wastes

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Data about gamma radiation induced effects in Ge40Se60 chalcogenide thin films and radiation induced silver diffusion within these are presented. Blanket films and devices were created to study the structural changes, diffusion products, and device performance. Raman spectroscopy, X-ray Diffraction, current vs. voltage (I-V) and impedance measurements expound the behavior of Ge40Se60 glass and silver diffusion within this glass under radiation. Raman study shows that there is a decrease in the area ratio between edge shared and corner shared structural units revealing structural reorganization occurring in the glasses as a result of gamma radiation. X-ray Diffraction studies revealed that with sufficiently radiation dose it is also possible to create Ag2Se in selenium-depleted systems. Oxidation of the Ge enriched chalcogenide backbone is confirmed through the electrical performance of the sensing elements based on these films. Combination of these structural and diffusion products influences the device performance. The I-V behavior is characterized by increase in current and then stabilization as a function of radiation dose. Additionally, device modeling is also presented using Silvaco software and analytical methods to shed light on the device behavior. This type of sensor design and material characterizations facilitate in improving the radiation sensing capabilities of silver containing chalcogenide glass thin films.