Future X-ray missions such as Lynx require large-format imaging detectors with performance at least as good as the best current-generation devices but with much higher readout rates. We are investigating a Digital CCD detector architecture, under development at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, for use in such missions. This architecture features a CMOS-compatible detector integrated with parallel CMOS signal processing chains. Fast, low-noise amplifiers and highly parallel signal processing provide the high frame-rates required. CMOS-compatibility of the CCD provides low-power charge transfer and signal processing. We report on the performance of CMOS-compatible test CCDs read at rates up to 5 Mpix s−1 (50 times faster than Chandra ACIS CCDs), with transfer clock swings as low as ±1.5 V (power/area < 10% of that of ACIS CCDs). We measure read noise below 6 electrons RMS at 2.5 MHz and X-ray spectral resolution better than 150 eV FWHM at 5.9 keV for single-pixel events. We discuss expected detector radiation tolerance at these relatively high transfer rates. We point out that the high pixel ’aspect ratio’ (depletion-depth : pixel size ≈ 9 : 1) of our test devices is similar to that expected for Lynx detectors, and illustrate some of the implications of this geometry for X-ray performance and noise requirements.
M. Bautz, R. Foster, B. LaMarr, A. Malonis, G. Prigozhin, E. Miller, C. E. Grant, B. Burke, M. Cooper, D. Craig, C. Leitz, D. Schuette, and V. Suntharalingam, "Toward fast low-noise low-power digital CCDs for Lynx and other high-energy astrophysics missions," Proc. SPIE 10699, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 1069917 (Presented at SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation: June 12, 2018; Published: 6 July 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2313594.
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