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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  2. By studying charge trapping in germanium detectors operating at temperatures below 10 K, we demonstrate for the first time that the formation of cluster dipole states from residual impurities is responsible for charge trapping. Two planar detectors with different impurity levels and types are used in this study. When drifting the localized charge carriers created by α particles from the top surface across a detector at a lower bias voltage, significant charge trapping is observed when compared to operating at a higher bias voltage. The amount of charge trapping shows a strong dependence on the type of charge carriers. Electrons are trapped more than holes in a p-type detector, while holes are trapped more than electrons in an n-type detector. When both electrons and holes are drifted simultaneously using the widespread charge carriers created by γ rays inside the detector, the amount of charge trapping shows no dependence on the polarity of bias voltage.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  3. Abstract For the first time, electrical conduction mechanisms in the disordered material system is experimentally studied for p-type amorphous germanium (a-Ge) used for high-purity Ge detector contacts. The localization length and the hopping parameters in a-Ge are determined using the surface leakage current measured from three high-purity planar Ge detectors. The temperature dependent hopping distance and hopping energy are obtained for a-Ge fabricated as the electrical contact materials for high-purity Ge planar detectors. As a result, we find that the hopping energy in a-Ge increases as temperature increases while the hopping distance in a-Ge decreases as temperature increases. The localization length of a-Ge is on the order of $$2.13^{-0.05}_{+0.07}\mathrm{{A}}^\circ $$ 2 . 13 + 0.07 - 0.05 A ∘ to $$5.07^{-0.83}_{+2.58}\mathrm{{A}}^\circ $$ 5 . 07 + 2.58 - 0.83 A ∘ , depending on the density of states near the Fermi energy level within bandgap. Using these parameters, we predict that the surface leakage current from a Ge detector with a-Ge contacts can be much smaller than one yocto amp (yA) at helium temperature, suitable for rare-event physics searches.
  4. Nucleation of clathrate hydrates at low temperatures is constrained by very long induction (wait) times, which can range from hours to days. Electronucleation (application of an electrical potential difference across the hydrate forming solution) can significantly reduce the induction time. This work studies the use of porous open-cell foams of various materials as electronucleation electrodes. Experiments with tetrahydrofuran (THF) hydrates reveal that aluminum and carbon foam electrodes can enable voltage-dependent nucleation, with induction times dependent on the ionization tendency of the foam material. Furthermore, we observe a non-trivial dependence of the electronucleation parameters such as induction time and the recalescence temperature on the water:THF molar ratio. This study further corroborates previously developed hypotheses which associated rapid hydrate nucleation with the formation of metal-ion coordination compounds. Overall, this work studies various aspects of electronucleation with aluminum and carbon foams.
  5. This article reviews the fundamental interfacial mechanisms underlying electrofreezing (promotion of ice nucleation via the application of an electric field). Electrofreezing has been an active research topic for many decades, with applications in food preservation, cryopreservation, cryogenics and ice formation. There is substantial literature detailing experimental and simulations-based studies, which aim to understand the complex mechanisms underlying accelerated ice nucleation in the presence of electric fields and electrical charge. This work provides a critical review of all such studies. It is noted that application-focused studies of electrofreezing are excluded from this review; such studies have been previously reviewed in literature. This review focuses only on fundamental studies, which analyze the physical mechanisms underlying electrofreezing. Topics reviewed include experimental studies on electrofreezing (DC and AC electric fields), pyroelectricity-based control of freezing, molecular dynamics simulations of electrofreezing, and thermodynamics-based explanations of electrofreezing. Overall, it is seen that electrofreezing can enable disruptive advancements in the control of liquid-to-solid phase change, and that our current understanding of the underlying mechanisms can be significantly improved through further studies of various interfacial effects coming into play.
  6. Nucleation of hydrates is constrained by very long induction (wait) times, which can range from hours to days. Electronucleation (application of an electrical potential across the precursor solution) can significantly reduce the induction time for nucleation. This study shows that porous aluminum foams (open-cell) enable near-instantaneous electronucleation at very low voltages. Experiments with tetrahydrofuran hydrates reveal that aluminum foam electrodes enable voltage-dependent nucleation with induction times of only tens of seconds at voltages as low as 20 V. Foam-based electrodes can reduce the induction time by up to 150X when compared to non-foam electrodes. Furthermore, this study reveals that electronucleation can be attributed to two distinct phenomena, namely bubble generation (due to electrolysis), and the formation of metal-ion coordination compounds. These mechanisms affect the induction time to different extents and depend on electrode material and polarity. Overall, this work uncovers the benefits of using foams for formation of hydrates, with foams aiding nucleation as well as propagation of the hydrate formation front.
  7. Nucleation of hydrates requires very long induction (wait) times, often ranging from hours to days. Electronucleation, i.e. nucleation stimulated by the presence of an electric field in the precursor solution can reduce the induction time significantly. This work reveals that porous aluminum foams enable near-instantaneous electronucleation at very low voltages. Experiments with tetrahydrofuran hydrate nucleation reveal that open-cell aluminum foam electrodes can trigger nucleation in only tens of seconds. Foam-based electrodes reduce the induction time by as much as 150X, when compared to non-foam electrodes. This work also discusses two mechanisms underlying electronucleation. These include bubble generation (due to electrolysis), and the formation of metal-ion coordination compounds. These mechanisms depend on electrode material and polarity, and affect the induction time to different extents. This work also shows that foams result in more deterministic nucleation (compared to stochastic) when compared with non-foam electrodes. Overall, electronucleation can lead to a new class of technologies for active control of formation of hydrates.
  8. Nucleation of hydrates requires very long induction (wait) times, often ranging from hours to days. Electronucleation, i.e. nucleation stimulated by the presence of an electric field in the precursor solution can reduce the induction time significantly. This work reveals that porous aluminum foams enable near-instantaneous electronucleation at very low voltages. Experiments with tetrahydrofuran hydrate nucleation reveal that open-cell aluminum foam electrodes can trigger nucleation in only tens of seconds. Foam-based electrodes reduce the induction time by as much as 150X, when compared to non-foam electrodes. This work also discusses two mechanisms underlying electronucleation. These include bubble generation (due to electrolysis), and the formation of metal-ion coordination compounds. These mechanisms depend on electrode material and polarity, and affect the induction time to different extents. This work also shows that foams result in more deterministic nucleation (compared to stochastic) when compared with non-foam electrodes. Overall, electronucleation can lead to a new class of technologies for active control of formation of hydrates.