Thin silicon solid-state detectors for energetic particle measurements. Development, characterization, and application on NASA s Parker Solar Probe mission
|Author||Wiedenbeck, M.; Burnham, J.; Cohen, C.; Cook, W.; Crabill, R.; Cummings, A.; Davis, A.; Kecman, B.; Labrador, A.; Leske, R.; Mewaldt, R.; Rankin, J.; Rusert, M.; Stone, E.; Christian, E.; Goodwin, P.; Link, J.; Nahory, B.; Shuman, S.; von Rosenvinge, T.; Tindall, C.; Black, H.; Bullough, M.; Clarke, N.; Glasson, V.; Greenwood, N.; Hawkins, C.; Johnson, T.; Newton, A.; Richardson, K.; Walsh, S.; Wilburn, C.; Birdwell, B.; Everett, d.; McComas, D.; Weidner, S.; Angold, N.; Schwadron, N.;|
|Keywords||instrumentation: detectors; Sun: particle emission; acceleration of particles; space vehicles: instruments; Parker Data Used|
|Abstract||Context. Silicon solid-state detectors are commonly used for measuring the specific ionization, dE∕dx, in instruments designed for identifying energetic nuclei using the dE∕dx versus total energy technique in space and in the laboratory. The energy threshold and species resolution of the technique strongly depend on the thickness and thickness uniformity of these detectors. |
Aims: Research has been carried out to develop processes for fabricating detectors that are thinner than 15 μm, that have a thickness uniformity better than 0.2 μm over cm2 areas, and that are rugged enough to survive the acoustic and vibration environments of a spacecraft launch.
Methods: Silicon-on-insulator wafers that have a device layer of the desired detector thickness supported by a thick handle layer were used as starting material. Standard processing techniques were used to fabricate detectors on the device layer, and the underlying handle-layer material was etched away leaving a thin, uniform detector surrounded by a thick, supporting frame.
Results: Detectors as thin as 12 μm were fabricated in two laboratories and successfully subjected to environmental and performance tests. Two detector designs were used in the High-energy Energetic Particles Instrument, which is part of the Integrated Science Investigation of the Sun instrument suite on NASA s Parker Solar Probe spacecraft. These detectors have been performing well for more than two years in space.
Conclusions: Thin silicon detectors in d E∕dx versus total energy instruments enable the identification of nuclei with energies down to ~1 MeV nuc−1. This research suggests that detectors at least a factor of two thinner should be achievable using this fabrication technique.
|Year of Publication||2021|
|Journal||Astronomy and Astrophysics|
|Number of Pages||A27|