Detectors for Space Applications
Among the new challenges of modern astrophysics we certainly find the need to perform accurate measurements of all photons from space in an extremely wide energy range that includes X-rays and gamma rays (10 KeV – 10 MeV). This type of measurement requires an important technological evolution of the sensors currently used. A significant increase in the sensitivity of the tools is needed in order to be able to find answers to the unresolved questions about the universe in which we live.In this context, research and development of sensors based on CdZnTe semiconductor made by due2lab is placed. The CZT, thanks to its unique characteristics, is one of the potential material candidates for the role of “technological standard” for sensors for astrophysical research in the near future.Due2lab has been at the forefront of this development for several years, with research institutions and universities as its protagonists. The goal is to create increasingly advanced sensors that can be used in future space missions and that can offer new potential to new generation instruments.This research has led to the development of a particular type of CdZnTe detector that exploits the segmentation in strips of the electrodes and are called precisely ‘striped detector’ or ‘3D drift strip detector’.
This type of detector allows you to:
- Reconstruct the physical interaction position of the incident photon in the detector volume and go back to the direction of incidence of the absorbed photon (Compton Camera)
- Reduce the number of reading channels compared to pixel matrix systems (2n reading channels instead of n²)
- Create compact modules and detector stacks to increase the spectroscopic and spatial sensitivity of the system
3DCaTM is a project funded by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) which sees the collaboration of the Italian Institute of Astrophysics (INAF-IASF) of Bologna, the University of Palermo, the IMEM CNR Institute of Parma and due2lab s.r.l. as a technology provider.
The 3DCaTM project is aimed at creating a CdZnTe-based sensor for spectroscopic imaging and X-ray and gamma-polarimetry for satellite missions. due2lab is part of the 3DCaTM project as a supplier of CZT sensor bonding and pre-amplification electronics, as well as its know-how on the manufacturing process of strip detectors.