Bedington, R and Kataria, DO and Walton, DM (2012) Using a CCD for the direct detection of electrons in a low energy space plasma spectrometer. Journal of Instrumentation , 7 (1) 10.1088/1748-0221/7/01/C01079.
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An E2V CCD64 back-illuminated, ion-implanted CCD (charge-coupled device) has been used as a direct electron imaging detector with CATS (Conceptual And Tiny Spectrometer), a highly miniaturised prototype plasma analyser head. This is in place of an MCP (microchannel plate) with a position sensing anode which would more conventionally be used as a detector in traditional low energy space plasma analyser instruments. The small size of CATS however makes it well matched to the size of the CCD, and the ion implants reduce the depth of the CCD backside electron potential well making it more sensitive to lower energy electrons than standard untreated silicon. Despite ionisation damage from prolonged exposure to excessively energetic electrons, the CCD has been able to detect electrons with energies above 500eV, at temperatures around room temperature. Using both a long integration ‘current measuring’ mode and a short integration ‘electron counting’ mode it has been used to image the low energy electrons exiting the analyser, enhancing our understanding of the CATS electrostatic optics. The CCD has been selected as the detector for use with CATS for an instrument on a low-altitude student sounding rocket flight. Although it cannot detect the lowest energy electrons that an MCP can detect, and it is more sensitive to stray light, the low voltages required, the lack of vacuum requirements and its novelty and availability made it the most attractive candidate detector.
|Title:||Using a CCD for the direct detection of electrons in a low energy space plasma spectrometer|
|Keywords:||Space Instrumentation, Particle detectors|
|UCL classification:||UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Space and Climate Physics|
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