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Several electronic phenomena are produced in polyethylene subsequent to exposure to ionizing radiation at cryogenic temperatures. Electrical conductivity is very much increased and luminescence of specific wavelengths occurs at certain threshold temperatures. Spontaneous current generation may occur under certain conditions. We applied these phenomena to investigate the mechanisms by which the electrical conductivity of polyethylene, normally an electrical insulator, is altered by ionizing radiation to the range of semi-conducting materials.
We offer several variations of a simple hypothesis to describe the observed phenomena and discuss relative merits of this hypothesis. An analogy is inferred between the model presented and the band model of conduction for semiconductors.
luminescence, thermoluminescence, polyethylene, insulators, conductivity, cryogenic irradiation, irradiated polyethylene, polymers, crystalline polymers, radiation effects, radiation damage, electrical conduction, LCAO calculations, molecular orbitals, energy levels, electron traps, activation energy
Zack, J. F.
Research Director, Referred Chemistry, Inc., North Hollywood, Calif.
Research Engineer, Atomics International, Canoga Park, Calif.