Tutt, James. H.; Holland, Andrew D.; Murray, Neil J.; Hall, David J.; McEntaffer, Randall L.; Endicott, James and Robbins, Mark
A study of electron-multiplying CCDs for use on the International X-ray Observatory off-plane x-ray grating spectrometer.
Proceedings - SPIE the International Society for Optical Engineering, 7742(774205),
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CCDs are regularly used as imaging and spectroscopic devices on space telescopes at X-ray energies due to their high quantum efficiency and linearity across the energy range. The International X-ray Observatory's X-ray Grating Spectrometer will also look to make use of these devices across the energy band of 0.3 keV to 1 keV. At these energies, when photon counting, the charge generated in the silicon is close to the noise of the system. In order to be able to detect these low energy X-ray events, the system noise of the detector has to be minimised to have a sufficient signal-to-noise-ratio. By using an EM-CCD instead of a conventional CCD, any charge that is collected in the device can be multiplied before it is read out and as long as the EM-CCD is cool enough to adequately suppress the dark current, the signal-to-noise ratio of the device can be significantly increased, allowing soft X-ray events to be more easily detected. This paper will look into the use of EM-CCDs for the detection of low energy X-rays, in particular the effect that using these devices will have on the signal to noise ratio as well as any degradation in resolution and FWHM that may occur due to the additional shot noise on the signal caused by the charge packet amplification process.
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