23 July 2014 High event rate ROICs (HEROICs) for astronomical UV photon counting detectors
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The next generation of astronomical photocathode / microchannel plate based UV photon counting detectors will overcome existing count rate limitations by replacing the anode arrays and external cabled electronics with anode arrays integrated into imaging Read Out Integrated Circuits (ROICs). We have fabricated a High Event Rate ROIC (HEROIC) consisting of a 32 by 32 array of 55 μm square pixels on a 60 μm pitch. The pixel sensitivity (threshold) has been designed to be globally programmable between 1 × 103 and 1 × 106 electrons. To achieve the sensitivity of 1 × 103 electrons, parasitic capacitances had to be minimized and this was achieved by fabricating the ROIC in a 65 nm CMOS process. The ROIC has been designed to support pixel counts up to 4096 events per integration period at rates up to 1 MHz per pixel. Integration time periods can be controlled via an external signal with a time resolution of less than 1 microsecond enabling temporally resolved imaging and spectroscopy of astronomical sources. An electrical injection port is provided to verify functionality and performance of each ROIC prior to vacuum integration with a photocathode and microchannel plate amplifier. Test results on the first ROICs using the electrical injection port demonstrate sensitivities between 3 × 103 and 4 × 105 electrons are achieved. A number of fixes are identified for a re-spin of this ROIC.
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Alex Harwit, Alex Harwit, Kevin France, Kevin France, Vic Argabright, Vic Argabright, Steve Franka, Steve Franka, Ed Freymiller, Ed Freymiller, Dennis Ebbets, Dennis Ebbets, } "High event rate ROICs (HEROICs) for astronomical UV photon counting detectors", Proc. SPIE 9154, High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy VI, 91541N (23 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2055010; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2055010

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