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Silicon carbide X-ray detectors for planetary exploration

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Alton Horsfall


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Planetary exploration places high demands on instrumentation and presents some of the harshest operating environments and constraints known, including extreme thermal conditions, high-radiation tolerance and the need for low mass and power. We present data on a novel X-ray detector, the Semi-Transparent SiC Schottky Diode (STSSD), which shows promising energy resolution (1.3 keV Full-Width Half-Maximum at 5.9 keV) at room temperature and good radiation tolerance to proton irradiation (with a dose of ∼1013 cm-2, energy ∼50 MeV) with some degradation in resolution to 2.5 keV. Future development of SiC detectors will lead, in principle, to X-ray imaging spectroscopic arrays capable of meeting the stringent demands of future planetary exploration missions. We outline the detector requirements necessary for use in the environment likely to be encountered in a mission to the Jovian system, which has the harshest radiation environment of all the planetary magnetospheres. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lees J, Bassford D, Bunce E, Sims M, Horsfall A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment

Year: 2009

Volume: 604

Issue: 1-2

Pages: 174-176

ISSN (print): 0168-9002

ISSN (electronic): 1872-9576

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2009.01.050


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