Radiation damage effects on double-SOI pixel sensors for X-ray astronomy

Kouichi Hagino, Keigo Yarita, Kousuke Negishi, Kenji Oono, Mitsuki Hayashida, Masatoshi Kitajima, Takayoshi Kohmura, Takeshi G. Tsuru, Takaaki Tanaka, Hiroyuki Uchida, Kazuho Kayama, Yuki Amano, Ryota Kodama, Ayaki Takeda, Koji Mori, Yusuke Nishioka, Masataka Yukumoto, Takahiro Hida, Yasuo Arai, Ikuo KurachiTsuyoshi Hamano, Hisashi Kitamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The X-ray SOI pixel sensor onboard the FORCE satellite will be placed in the low earth orbit and will consequently suffer from the radiation effects mainly caused by geomagnetically trapped cosmic-ray protons. Based on previous studies on the effects of radiation on SOI pixel sensors, the positive charges trapped in the oxide layer significantly affect the performance of the sensor. To improve the radiation hardness of the SOI pixel sensors, we introduced a double-SOI (D-SOI) structure containing an additional middle Si layer in the oxide layer. The negative potential applied on the middle Si layer compensates for the radiation effects, due to the trapped positive charges. Although the radiation hardness of the D-SOI pixel sensors for applications in high-energy accelerators has been evaluated, radiation effects for astronomical application in the D-SOI sensors has not been evaluated thus far. To evaluate the radiation effects of the D-SOI sensor, we perform an irradiation experiment using a 6-MeV proton beam with a total dose of ∼5krad, corresponding to a few tens of years of in-orbit operation. This experiment indicates an improvement in the radiation hardness of the X-ray D-SOI devices. On using an irradiation of 5 krad on the D-SOI device, the energy resolution in the full-width half maximum for the 5.9-keV X-ray increases by 7±2%, and the chip output gain decreases by 0.35±0.09%. The physical mechanism of the gain degradation is also investigated; it is found that the gain degradation is caused by an increase in the parasitic capacitance due to the enlarged buried n-well.


  • Astronomy
  • Imaging spectroscopy
  • Radiation damage
  • SOI pixel
  • TID
  • X-ray

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