X-Ray Micro-Calorimeter Based on Si Thermistors for X-Ray Astronomy: Design and First Measurements
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X-ray Astronomy provides a unique window on a wide variety of astrophysical phenomena. The currently operating X-ray space observatories perform X-ray spectral imaging with the use of CCDs. When available, cryogenic X-ray microcalorimeter arrays will far outperform CCDs in terms of spectral resolution, energy bandwidth and count rate. Experience has been gained with Infra-Red bolometer arrays at CEA-LETI (Grenoble) in collaboration with the CEA-SAp (Saclay); taking advantage of this background, we are now developing an X-ray spectro-imaging camera for the next generation space astronomy missions, using silicon technology (implanted and high temperature diffused thermistors).
Each pixel of this array detector is made of a tantalum absorber bound, by indium bump hybridization, to a silicon thermistor. The absorber array is bound to the thermistor array in a single automatic step. The thermo-mechanical link, provided by hybridization, is being improved in terms of thermal capacitance. Finally, our main effort is in developing arrays of silicon thermistors with negligible excess 1/f noise. The thermistor has been simulated with the 2D simulator ATHENA (SILVACO International). We studied the effects of the implants and their thermal treatment on both vertical and lateral dopant distributions at the edges of the thermistor. Prototypes have been created following the procedure optimized by the ATHENA simulation. We present the status of the development and results of measurements performed on these four main building blocks required to create a detector array up to 32×32 pixels in size.
PACS33.20 Kf 33.70 Jg
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