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Volume 77, Issue 5, May 2006
- PARTICLE SOURCES, OPTICS AND ACCELERATION; PARTICLE DETECTORS
77(2006); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.2198829View Description Hide Description
We present the results of a study of the response of a delta-doped charge-coupled device(CCD) exposed to ions with energies less than . The study of ions in the solar wind, the majority having energies in the range, has proven to be vital in understanding the solar atmosphere and the near Earth space environment. Delta-doped CCD technology has essentially removed the dead layer of the silicon detector. Using the delta-doped detector, we are able to detect and ions with energies ranging from in the laboratory. This is a remarkable improvement in the low energydetection threshold over conventional solid-state detectors, such as those used in space sensors, one example being the solar wind ion composition spectrometer (SWICS) on the Advanced Composition Explorer spacecraft, which can only detect ions with energies greater than because of the solid-state detector’s minimum energy threshold. Because this threshold is much higher than the average energy of the solar wind ions, the SWICS instrument employs a bulky high voltage postacceleration stage that accelerates ions above the detection threshold. This stage is massive, exposes the instrument to hazardous high voltages, and is therefore problematic both in terms of price and its impact on spacecraft resources. Adaptation of delta-doping technology in future space missions may be successful in reducing the need for heavy postacceleration stages allowing for miniaturization of space-borne ion detectors.