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Maia is an advanced system designed specifically for scanning X-ray fluorescence microprobe applications. It consists of a large array of photodiode detectors and associated signal processing, closely coupled to an FPGA based control and analysis system.
MAIA Detector Development
The planar diode sensors in MAIA limit the energy resolution. Also the noise performance of the current ASIC needs to be improved To obtain a low capacitance sensor, we are exploring the option of Silicon Drift Detectors or SDDs and samples are being fabricated. A new amplifier MARS has been designed to provide lower noise together with these low-capacitance detectors.
VIPIC (Vertically Integrated Photon Imaging Chip)
VIPIC is a small 64 x 64 pixels sensor for soft X-ray. It explores the possibilities of three-dimensional integration for x-ray imaging applications. VIPIC operates without any readout dead-time. Each detected photon is immediately read out as a time- and position-stamped event
HEXID (Hyperspectral Energy-resolving X-ray Imaging Detector)
HEXID can be thought of as a true color X-Ray camera! It is an imaging detector for x-rays, which provides spectroscopic data for each pixel. It would be the basis for a full-field elemental microscope, and also could reinvigorate the Laue white-beam diffraction method of crystallographic structure determination. We have fabricated a prototype of such a detector consisting of a 16 x 16 array of hexagonal pixels. The hexagonal array provides some reduction in the complexity of the charge-combining algorithm. In addition, there are fewer ways in which the charge can be split in a hexagonal array. In particular, the charge is at most divided into three pixels, not four as is the case for a square array. These two features both help in making the reconstruction of split charges easier and potentially lower noise (i.e. better energy resolution).