General Lab Information

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MAIA Detector

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

MAIA Detector

MAIA Detector

Finished product

MAIA Detector

The cross-section of MAIA

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.

MAIA Detector structure: old and new

The comparison between old (a) and new (b) MAIA structure—note the complexity of the new improved version

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

VIPIC chip

VIPIC chip mounted on PCB

VIPIC Scattering Pattern

Time-integrated image of scattering pattern recorded by VIPIC

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).

HEXID prototype chips

HEXID prototype chips