We report progress in the study of CZT strip detectors featuring orthogonal coplanar anode contacts. The work includes laboratory and simulation studies aimed at optimizing and developing compact, efficient, high performance detector modules for 0.05 to 1 MeV gamma radiation measurements. The novel coplanar anode strip configuration retains many of the performance advantages of pixel detectors yet requires far fewer electronic channels to perform both 3-d imaging and spectroscopy. We report on studies aimed at determining an optimum configuration of the analog signal processing electronics to employ with these detectors. We report measurements of energy and spatial resolution in three dimensions for prototype 5 and 10 mm thick CZT detectors using a set of shaping and summing amplifiers.
SONTRAC (SOlar Neutron TRACking imager and spectrometer) is a conceptual instrument intended to measure the energy and incident direction of 20–150 MeV neutrons produced in solar flares. The intense neutron background in a low-Earth orbit requires that imaging techniques be employed to maximize an instrument’s signal-to-noise ratio. The instrument is comprised of mutually perpendicular, alternating layers of parallel, scintillating, plastic fibers that are viewed by optoelectronic devices. Two stereoscopic views of recoil proton tracks are necessary to determine the incident neutron’s direction and energy. The instrument can also be used as a powerful energetic proton imager. Data from a fully functional 3-d prototype are presented. Early results indicate that the instrument’s neutron energy resolution is approximately 10% with the neutron incident direction determined to within a few degrees.
We report progress in the study of 5 and 10 mm thick CZT strip detectors featuring orthogonal coplanar anode contacts. This novel anode geometry combines the advantages of pixel detectors with those of double-sided strip detectors. Like pixel detectors, these are electron-only devices that perform well as hard x-ray and y-ray spectrometers and imagers even in the thicker configurations required for reasonable detection efficiency at 1 MeV. Like double-sided strip detectors in an N x N configuration, these detectors require only 2N readout channels to form N2 “pixels”. Unlike doublesided strip detectors, all signal contacts for spectroscopy and 3- d imaging are formed on one detector surface. Polymer flip chip bonding to a ceramic substrate is employed resulting in a rugged and compact detector assembly. Prototype detector modules 5 mm thick have been fabricated and tested. Prototype modules, 10 mm thick, are currently in procurement. Measurements confirm these devices are efficient detectors throughout their volume. Sub-millimeter position resolution and energy resolution (FWHM) better than 3% at 662 keV and 15% at 60 keV throughout the detector volume are demonstrated. Options for processing the signals from the non-collecting anode strip contacts are discussed. Results from tests of one prototype circuit are presented. We also report on detector simulation studies aimed at defining an optimum geometry for the anode contacts and at determining optimum operating conditions and the requirements of the signal processing electronics.