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Orbital processing of high-quality CdTe compound semiconductorsCdZnTe crystals were grown in one-g and in micro-g for comparative analysis. The two micro-g crystals were grown in the Crystal Growth Furnace during the First United States Microgravity Laboratory mission (USML-1). The samples were analyzed for chemical homogeneity, structural perfection, and optoelectronic performance (infrared transmission). Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) transmission of both ground and flight materials showed that the infrared transmission was close to theoretical, 63% versus 66%, suggesting that the material was close to the stochiometric composition during both the ground and flight experiments. Infrared microscopy confirmed that the principal precipitates were Te and their size (1-10 microns) and density suggested that the primary flight and ground base samples experienced similar cooling rates. Macrosegregation was predicted, using scaling analysis, to be low even in one-g crystals and this was confirmed experimentally, with nearly diffusion controlled growth achieved even in the partial mixing regime on the ground. Radial segregation was monitored in the flight samples and was found to vary with fraction solidified, but was disturbed due to the asymmetric grvitational and thermal fields experienced by the flight samples. The flight samples, however, were found to be much higher in structural perfection than the ground samples produced in the same furnace under identical growth conditions except for the gravitational level. Rocking curve widths were found to be substantially reduced, from 20/35 (one-g) to 9/20 (micro-g) for the best regions of the crystals. The full width at half maximum (FWHM) of 9 arc seconds is as good as the best reported terrestrially for this material. The ground samples were found to have a fully developed mosaic structure consisting of subgrains, whereas the flight sample dislocations were discrete and no mosaic substructure was evident. The defect density was reduced from 50-100,000 (one-g) to 500-25000 EPD (micro-g). These results were confirmed using rocking curve analysis, synchrotron topography, and etch pit analysis. The low dislocation density is thought to have resulted from the near-absence of hydrostatic pressure which allowed the melt to solidify with minimum or no wall contact, resulting in very low stress being exerted on the crystal during growth or during post-solidification cooling.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Larson, David J., Jr. (Grumman Aerospace Corp. Bethpage, NY., United States)
Alexander, J. I. D. (Alabama Univ. Huntsville, AL., United States)
Gillies, D. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Carlson, F. M. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Wu, J. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Black, D. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: Joint Launch + One Year Science Review of USML-1 and USMP-1 with the Microgravity Measurement Group
Subject Category
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19950007742Analytic PrimaryRICIS Symposium 1992: Mission and Safety Critical Systems Research and Applications