The X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (XIS) on board the Suzaku satellite is an X-ray CCD camera system that has features of a low background, high quantum efficiency, and good energy resolution in the 0.2 - 12 keV band. Because of the radiation damage, however, the energy resolution of the XIS has been degraded since Suzaku was launched (July 2005).
One of the major advantages of the XIS over the other X-ray CCDs in orbit is the provision of a precision charge injection (CI) capability. In order to improve the energy resolution, the precise measurement of charge transfer inefficiency (CTI) is essential. For this purpose, we applied the checker-flag CI, and we were able to measure the CTI of each CCD column. Furthermore, we were able to obtain the pulse height dependency of the CTI.
Our precise CTI correction using these results improved the energy resolution from 193 eV to 173 eV in FWHM at 5.9 keV in July 2006 (one year after the launch).
The energy resolution can be improved also by reducing the CTI. For this purpose, we applied the spaced-row charge injection (SCI); periodically injected artificial charges
work as if they compensate radiation-induced traps and prevent electrons produced by X-rays from being captured by the charge traps. Using this method, the energy resolution improved from 210 eV to 150 eV at 5.9 keV in September 2006, which is close to the resolution just after the launch (145 eV).
We report the current in-orbit calibration status of the XIS data using these two techniques. We present the time history of the gain and energy resolution determined from onboard calibration sources (55Fe) and observed calibration objects like E0102-72.
The X-ray Imaging Spectrometers (XIS) on-board Suzaku is an X-ray CCD camera system that has features of low backgroud, good energy resolution, and high quantum efficiency (QE) at 0.2-12 keV band. However, an unexpected degradation of the QE at low energies (<1 keV) has emerged since November 2005. Some contaminants are considered to be adsorbed on the Optical Blocking Filter (OBF) for each sensor and cause the degradation. A suspected contamination source is rubber used in the shock absorber of the satellite gyro. For the recovery of the QE, we now design to remove the contaminants by increasing the OBF temperature. Before the on-board bakeout is performed, we need to confirm on the ground that it does not cause a serious damage to the OBF. In order to reproduce the on-board contamination, we adsorbed the contaminant of ~160 μg cm-2 from the rubber on a spare OBF and a Thermoelectric Quartz Crystal Microbalance simultaneously, which are cooled down to -40°C. Although enexpected wrinkles appeared on the OBF surface during the adsorption and they remained through the subsequent bakeout, we could not find any tears on it. In addition, we estimated the desorption rate at -15°C to be ~5 μg cm-2 per day. In our presentation, we also discuss the expected effect by the on-board bakeout based on these results.
The NeXT (New X-ray Telescope) satellite to be launched around 2010, has a large effective area in the 0.1-80
keV band with the use of the multilayer super mirror (HXT). As one of the focal plane detectors for NeXT,
we have been developing the Soft X-ray Imager (SXI). SXI consists of charge coupled devices (CCDs). In order
to increase the quantum efficiency (Q.E.) as high as possible, i.e., to detect X-rays collected by HXT as many
as possible, we developed a "fully-depleted and back-illuminated CCD" in the attempt to improve the Q.E.
of soft X-rays by the back-illuminated structure and that of hard X-rays by thickening of a depletion layer.
Thanks to a high-resistivity (over 10kΩ•cm) n-type Si, we have successfully developed Pch CCDs with very thick
depletion layer of over 300 micron, which is 4 times thicker than that of established X-ray MOS CCDs (for example
XIS, EPIC-MOS and ACIS-I). Furthermore, we have already confirmed we can thin a wafer down to 150 micron
independent of its resistivity from the experience of the development of the back supportless CCD. Based on
these successful results, we fabricated a test device of "fully depleted and back-illuminated CCD" with the high
resistivity (10kOhm cm) N-type Si thinned down to 200 micron. The pixel number and size are 512 x 512 and 24
x 24 μm, respectively. For optical blocking, we coated the surface with Al. We evaluated this test device and
confirmed the thickness of depletion layer reaches 200 micron as we expected. In this paper, we present progress in
development of these devices for SXI.
We give overview and the current status of the development of the Soft X-ray Imager (SXI) onboard the NeXT
satellite. SXI is an X-ray CCD camera placed at the focal plane detector of the Soft X-ray Telescopes for Imaging
(SXT-I) onboard NeXT. The pixel size and the format of the CCD is 24 x 24μm (IA) and 2048 x 2048 x 2
(IA+FS). Currently, we have been developing two types of CCD as candidates for SXI, in parallel. The one is
front illumination type CCD with moderate thickness of the depletion layer (70 ~ 100μm) as a baseline plan.
The other one is the goal plan, in which we develop back illumination type CCD with a thick depletion layer
(200 ~ 300μm). For the baseline plan, we successfully developed the proto model 'CCD-NeXT1' with the pixel
size of 12μm x 12μm and the CCD size of 24mm x 48mm. The depletion layer of the CCD has reached 75 ~ 85μm.
The goal plan is realized by introduction of a new type of CCD 'P-channel CCD', which collects holes in stead
of electrons in the common 'N-channel CCD'. By processing a test model of P-channel CCD we have confirmed
high quantum efficiency above 10 keV with an equivalent depletion layer of 300μm. A back illumination type
of P-channel CCD with a depletion layer of 200μm with aluminum coating for optical blocking has been also
successfully developed. We have been also developing a thermo-electric cooler (TEC) with the function of the
mechanically support of the CCD wafer without standoff insulators, for the purpose of the reduction of thermal
input to the CCD through the standoff insulators. We have been considering the sensor housing and the onboard
electronics for the CCD clocking, readout and digital processing of the frame date.