Analysis of the EMCCD point-source response using x-rays

Kotov, I.V.; Hall, S.; Gopinath, D.; Barbour, A.; Li, J.; Gu, Y.; Holland, K.; Holland, A.; Jarrige, I.; Pelliciari, J.; Soman, M.; Wilkins, S. and Bisogni, V. (2021). Analysis of the EMCCD point-source response using x-rays. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, 985, article no. 164706.



Electron Multiplying Charge Coupled Devices, EMCCD are used as x-ray detectors. The NSLS-II Soft Inelastic x-ray Scattering (SIX) beam line has two EMCCDs for x-ray detection in the spectrometer arm. The spectrometer with high resolving power disperses x-rays vertically. The x-ray vertical position on the sensor plane is related to its energy. This allows for very accurate x-ray energy measurements through x-ray coordinates. X-rays interact with silicon and create a number of electron–hole pairs proportional to the x-ray energy. Electrons drift and diffuse toward pixel gates and are collected there. The diffused electrons form a charge cloud distributed over several neighboring pixels. This charge sharing enables coordinate measurements with accuracy better than the pixel pitch. The charge distribution shape has to be taken into account to achieve ultimate accuracy in coordinate measurements. In this paper, we present a method of the charge distribution shape analysis and demonstrate its applications.

The drift and diffusion of electrons from the point of generation to pixel gates results in the bell-shaped electron cloud usually approximated by Gaussian shape. The number of electrons collected under a pixel is proportional to the shape function integral. These electron packets get transferred to the sense node of the output amplifier. The transfer process could introduce distortions to the original charge distribution. For example, during transfers, electrons in the packet could be exposed to traps if they are present in the sensor. The trapping and later the release processes distort the apparent shape of the charge distribution. Therefore, deviations of the charge distribution shape from the originally symmetrical form can indicate the presence of trap centers in the sensor and can be used for sensor diagnostics.

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