Low-energy X-ray performance of SOI pixel sensors for astronomy, “XRPIX”

Ryota Kodama, Takeshi Go Tsuru, Takaaki Tanaka, Hiroyuki Uchida, Kazuho Kayama, Yuki Amano, Ayaki Takeda, Koji Mori, Yusuke Nishioka, Masataka Yukumoto, Takahiro Hida, Yasuo Arai, Ikuo Kurachi, Takayoshi Komura, Kouichi Hagino, Mitsuki Hayashida, Masatoshi Kitajima, Shoji Kawahito, Keita Yasutomi, Hiroki Kamehama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have been developing a new type of X-ray pixel sensors, “XRPIX”, allowing us to perform imaging spectroscopy in the wide energy band of 1–20keV for the future Japanese X-ray satellite “FORCE”. The XRPIX devices are fabricated with complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor silicon-on-insulator technology, and have the “Event-Driven readout mode”, in which only a hit event is read out by using hit information from a trigger output function equipped with each pixel. This paper reports on the low-energy X-ray performance of the “XRPIX6E” device with a Pinned Depleted Diode (PDD) structure. The PDD structure especially reduces the readout noise, and hence is expected to largely improve the quantum efficiencies for low-energy X-rays. While F-K X-rays at 0.68keV and Al-K X-rays at 1.5keV are successfully detected in the “Frame readout mode”, in which all pixels are read out serially without using the trigger output function, the device is able to detect Al-K X-rays, but not F-K X-rays in the Event-Driven readout mode. Non-uniformity is observed in the counts maps of Al-K X-rays in the Event-Driven readout mode, which is due to region-to-region variation of the pedestal voltages at the input to the comparator circuit. The lowest available threshold energy is 1.1keV for a small region in the device where the non-uniformity is minimized. The noise of the charge sensitive amplifier at the sense node and the noise related to the trigger output function are ∼18e (rms) and ∼13e (rms), respectively.


  • Monolithic active pixel sensors
  • Silicon on insulator technology
  • X-ray detectors
  • X-ray SOIPIX

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