Hybrid CMOS X-ray detectors: The next generation for focused X-ray telescopes

A. D. Falcone, D. N. Burrows, Y. Bai, M. Farris, R. Cook, S. Bongiorno

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

19 Scopus citations


In a joint program of Penn State University and Teledyne Imaging Sensors, hybrid CMOS sensors have been developed for use as X-ray detectors. This detector technology can provide major improvements in performance relative to CCDs, which are the current standard technology used in the focal planes of X-ray telescopes (e.g. Chandra, XMM, Suzaku, and Swift). Future X-ray telescope missions are all likely to have significantly increased collection area. If standard CCDs are used, the effects of saturation (pile-up) will have a major impact, while radiation damage will impact the quality and lifetime of the detectors. By reading out the hybrid CMOS detector in a pixel-by-pixel fashion at high speeds, with an energy resolution similar to CCDs, CMOS sensors could increase the range of pile-up free operation by several orders of magnitude. They are also several orders of magnitude more radiation hard than typical CCDs since they transfer charge through the thickness of the device, rather than across the length of its surface. Furthermore, hybrid CMOS detectors can be programmed to read out any variety of windowed regions, which leads to versatility and speed. All of this can be achieved, in principle, while maintaining the same quantum efficiencies achievable in CCDs. Results of this development effort and preliminary tests of fabricated detectors will be presented, along with potential applications for future missions such as EDGE and Constellation-X.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XV
StatePublished - 2007
EventUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XV - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 26 2007Aug 27 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XV
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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