High Speed Imaging and Spectroscopy with Low Energy X-Rays

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Counting, imaging, and spectroscopic measurements of X-rays at low energies used in synchrotron and Free Electron Laser (FEL) science (30 eV up to 2 keV) all require detectors with unique properties. As the penetration depth of low-energy X-rays in, for instance, silicon in the above energy range varies from 40 nm to \(10\,\upmu \mathrm{m}\), special attention must be given to the properties of the radiation entrance window. And because the number of generated signal charges (electron-hole pairs) is low (approximately 27 signal charges for 100 eV and 540 for 2 keV), the detector systems must be operated with very low electronic noise. This is especially important if standard imaging and spectroscopy are to be performed simultaneously, at low-signal-level detection, in the presence of experimental and instrument background radiation. As the local photon intensities per unit area can be as high as 105 X-rays/s/pixel, long-term stability, especially radiation hardness, is an important requirement. Given these requirements for readout frame rates below 1 kHz, charge-coupled devices (CCDs) have proven their usefulness in experiments at X-ray Free Electron Laser sources. Two types of CCDs will be described: MOSCCDs (Metal Oxide Semiconductor) and pnCCDs. The basic functional principles will be shown as well as the achieved performance figures, as demonstrated in real experiments. Next, the physical limitations of the measurement precision will be discussed. Finally, attention will be given to some options for future CCD architectures and operations and a trade-off between CCDs and CMOS active pixel sensors.


Active pixel sensor ASIC amplifier Back illumination CAMP Charge handling capacity DePFET Dynamic range Energy resolution Fully sensitive depleted LAMP MOSCCD pnCCD Position resolution Parallel readout Quantum efficiency Radiation hardness Readout noise Readout speed Sideward depletion X-ray CCD X-ray imaging X-ray spectroscopy 



Experimental results shown here are from devices which have been designed, fabricated, tested, and operated by PNSensor. Special thanks go to Robert Hartmann who improved the system over the years. The support of all physicists, technicians, and engineers of PNSensor and PNDetector is very much appreciated. The contribution of the Solid State Physics Group of the University of Siegen is acknowledged. I am grateful to Peter Denes (LBL) who supplied the input for the MOSCCD part. The discussions and support of Julia Schmidt (PNSensor) and Jeff Davis (PNDetector) were important for the quality of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PNSensorMunichGermany

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