Abstract: P-channel charge-coupled devices (CCDs) made from N-type silicon wafers were originally developed for ground-based optical and near-infrared telescopes. The thick depletion layer of these CCDs provides the significant advantage of high quantum efficiency (QE) for hard X-rays. On the other hand, high QE for soft X-rays is obtained with back-illuminated (BI) and fully depleted CCDs in which only a thin dead layer exists on the surface of incidence. Thus, P-channel BI CCDs can be applicable as superior wide band X-ray detectors. We have developed such a device specifically for the Soft X-ray Imager (SXI) on board the X-ray astronomy satellite ASTRO-H, scheduled to be launched in 2014. We previously reported that the depletion layers of our CCDs, a prototype of SXI-CCDs, have a thickness of more than View the MathML source. In this paper, we report a novel soft X-ray response of P-channel BI CCDs. First, we irradiate fluorescent X-rays of O, F, Na, Al, Si and K to the SXI prototype. This experiment reveals that our CCD has a significant low-energy tail structure in the soft X-ray response. Since the intensity of the low-energy tail is larger for lower X-ray energies, the tail is originated on the CCD surface layer. Then, we fabricate a new type of CCDs by applying an alternative treatment to its surface layer. The soft X-ray response of the CCD is measured by irradiation of monochromatic X-rays from 0.25 keV to 1.8 keV in a synchrotron facility, KEK-PF. The intensity of the low-energy tail for 0.5 keV incident X-ray is one order of magnitude smaller than that for the previous CCD. The same treatment will be applied to the surface layer of the SXI flight model.
Shutaro Ueda, Kiyoshi Hayashida, Hiroshi Nakajima, Naohisa Anabuki, Hiroshi Tsunemi, Hiroaki Kan, Takayoshi Kohmura, Shoma Ikeda, Kenta Kaneko, Tatsuo Watanabe, Hiroshi Murakami, Kazuya Sakata, Shotaro Todoroki, Nobuyoshi Yagihashi, Eiki Mizuno, Masaharu Muramatsu, Hisanori Suzuki, Shin'ichiro Takagi