Factors Affecting EMCCD Technology for Use in Space

Evagora, Anthony Minas (2013). Factors Affecting EMCCD Technology for Use in Space. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000f0ab


This thesis is an assessment of factors of the EMCCD that may prevent this technology from being used in the space environment. The factors of interest here are EMCCD ageing, radiation effects from gamma rays and protons, and finally, single event susceptibility to heavy ions.

The theory and architecture of the CCD and EMCCD are described with the aim of providing a technical basis in which to explore the results. The practical methods and novel experimental techniques carried out in this thesis are also described. However, EMCCD ageing is the primarily focus of this work concentrating on characterisation, understanding and then an experimental investigation into uncovering the cause of the phenomenon. Many EMCCDs (CCD97s) were tested with a cause of ageing being attributed to hot hole trapping in the oxide layer.

Radiation effects regarding the effects that gamma-rays and protons have on EMCCDs, specifically the ageing, is also investigated. This analysis has shown that gamma-ray radiation in particular, has a large effect on the ageing and gain of these devices. In addition to this work is an experimental campaign to investigate the susceptibility to heavy ions primarily focussing on Single event Gate Rupture; showing EMCCDs to be a resilient against this type of error.

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