Sandia National Labs Academic Alliance & UNM Collaboration Report 2020-2021



Gunny Balakrishnan

High-resolution, room-temperature radiation detection is the holy grail of detector development in national security, medical, and research applications. High-resolution detectors based on germanium require cryogenic temperatures because room-temperature detectors such as sodium iodide have very poor resolution. Cadmium zinc telluride- based detectors can operate at room temperature with reasonable resolution, but experience issues with purity, cost, and handling. UNM scientists Adam Hecht and Ganesh Balakrishnan are collaborating with Sandia researchers Anthony Rice and Paul Sharps to improve aluminum antimonide-based gamma detectors by reducing leakage currents and device lifetime with chemical passivation. The end result—with growth on silicon, reduced leakage current, and improved material—will be an extremely deployable, low power, and rugged radiation detection capability that can be manufactured in large quantities at low cost.

UNM’s Ganesh (Gunny) Balakrishnan, associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and associate director in the Center for High Technology Materials, has partnered with Sandia for many years, providing great insight into microelectronics. His primary research focus for the past decade has been the growth and characterization of highly mismatched III-Sb compound semiconductors on GaAs and silicon substrates.


2020-2021 Collaboration Report

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