Microstructure Analysis of Bismuth Absorbers for Transition-Edge Sensor X-ray Microcalorimeters
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Given its large X-ray stopping power and low specific heat capacity, bismuth (Bi) is a promising absorber material for X-ray microcalorimeters and has been used with transition-edge sensors (TESs) in the past. However, distinct X-ray spectral features have been observed in TESs with Bi absorbers deposited with different techniques. Evaporated Bi absorbers are widely reported to have non-Gaussian low-energy tails, while electroplated ones do not show this feature. In this study, we fabricated Bi absorbers with these two methods and performed microstructure analysis using scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction microscopy. The two types of material showed the same crystallographic structure, but the grain size of the electroplated Bi was about 40 times larger than that of the evaporated Bi. This distinction in grain size is likely to be the cause of their different spectral responses.
KeywordsX-ray microcalorimeters Bismuth Electroplating X-ray diffraction
This work was supported by the Accelerator and Detector R&D program in Basic Energy Sciences Scientific User Facilities (SUF) Division at the Department of Energy. This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source and Center for Nanoscale Materials, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facilities operated for the DOE Office of Science by the Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02- 06CH11357. The contribution of NIST is not subject to copyright.
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