Developing a CCD camera with high spatial resolution for RIXS in the soft X-ray range

M. R. Soman, D. J. Hall, J. H. Tutt, N. J. Murray, A. D. Holland, T. Schmitt, J. Raabe, B. Schmitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The Super Advanced X-ray Emission Spectrometer (SAXES) at the Swiss Light Source contains a high resolution Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) camera used for Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering (RIXS). Using the current CCD-based camera system, the energy-dispersive spectrometer has an energy resolution (E/ΔE) of approximately 12,000 at 930 eV. A recent study predicted that through an upgrade to the grating and camera system, the energy resolution could be improved by a factor of 2. In order to achieve this goal in the spectral domain, the spatial resolution of the CCD must be improved to better than 5 μm from the current 24 μm spatial resolution (FWHM). The 400 eV-1600 eV energy X-rays detected by this spectrometer primarily interact within the field free region of the CCD, producing electron clouds which will diffuse isotropically until they reach the depleted region and buried channel. This diffusion of the charge leads to events which are split across several pixels. Through the analysis of the charge distribution across the pixels, various centroiding techniques can be used to pinpoint the spatial location of the X-ray interaction to the sub-pixel level, greatly improving the spatial resolution achieved. Using the PolLux soft X-ray microspectroscopy endstation at the Swiss Light Source, a beam of X-rays of energies from 200 eV to 1400 eV can be focused down to a spot size of approximately 20 nm. Scanning this spot across the 16 μm square pixels allows the sub-pixel response to be investigated. Previous work has demonstrated the potential improvement in spatial resolution achievable by centroiding events in a standard CCD. An Electron-Multiplying CCD (EM-CCD) has been used to improve the signal to effective readout noise ratio achieved resulting in a worst-case spatial resolution measurement of 4.5±0.2 μm and 3.9±0.1 μm at 530 eV and 680 eV respectively. A method is described that allows the contribution of the X-ray spot size to be deconvolved from these worst-case resolution measurements, estimating the spatial resolution to be approximately 3.5 μm and 3.0 μm at 530 eV and 680 eV, well below the resolution limit of 5 μm required to improve the spectral resolution by a factor of 2.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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