Microcalorimeter Arrays for High-Resolution X-ray Spectroscopy

Speaker: Catherine Bailey NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
High-resolution x-ray spectroscopy is a powerful tool for studying the evolving universe. Current x-ray missions have high-resolution grating spectrometers; however, non-dispersive spectrometers with improved spectral resolution around 6 keV will enable imaging spectroscopy of extended sources, such as supernova remnants and galaxy clusters. Arrays of microcalorimeters with superconducting transition-edge sensors (TESs) are capable of filling this need.

TES microcalorimeters measure the temperature change that occurs when individual photons are absorbed. In laboratory demonstrations, our TES devices achieve energy resolutions of ~2 eV at 6 keV. The X-ray Microcalorimeter Spectrometer (XMS) is a proposed instrument that will utilize these TES devices in a kilopixel-scale array that would go onboard the International X-ray Observatory (IXO). This instrument will be able to provide superior high-throughput, non-dispersive spectroscopy with high resolution and imaging capabilities in the 0.1 - 10 keV energy range.

In this talk I will introduce science drivers for the XMS instrument. I will then describe the XMS detector technology and the transition from individual pixels to large-scale arrays. I will conclude by showing state-of-the-art results as well as preliminary laboratory tests of a concept for the XMS anti-coincidence detector, which will be used to reject background events generated by cosmic rays.
Host: 
Reina Maruyama
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Room and Building: 
5310
Time:
1:30 pm

 

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