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High resolution photon counting detectors with microchannel plates: recent progress and new developments

Abstract: The unique features of event counting detectors based on microchannel plate (MCP) technology proved them to be devices of choice for applications as diverse as satellite-based astrophysical missions, synchrotron instrumentation, biomedical imaging, neutron tomography, time-of-flight techniques, cherenkov imaging and many others. The high spatial (<20 μm) and timing (~130 ps FWHM) resolution for single-particle detection (photons, ions, electrons) combined with the absence of readout noise and very low dark count rate (<0.1 c/cm^2/s) are very attractive for such techniques as Angular Resolved Photoelectron Emission Spectroscopy, Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging, Forster Resonance Energy Transfer, and many others. In this talk we will describe the improvements of this technology worked on within the Large Area Photodetector Collaboration aimed at the development of 8 photon counting devices with ultimately ps resolution. Numerous challenges of large-area long-life sealed device manufacturing are addressed by this collaboration, as well as fundamental investigations of new photocathode materials and structures, novel MCP manufacturing with the help of nano-engineered films and fast readout anodes and their associated electronics. Limitations of this technology such as lifetime, count rate saturation and sealed tube manufacturing challenges will also be discussed as well as our latest achievements in high resolution microchannel plate devices capable of high resolution high count rate operation.
Speaker: Anton Tremsin and Oswald Siegmund - Space Science Laboratory, University of California
Speaker Bio: Dr. Oswald was PI for 40+ funded technology research program in the general area of sensors, MCP's, photocathodes, image readouts, and electronics. He was also a US PI for FUVITA, UV imaging instrument on Spectrum X-gamma. He was a Co-I on the following missions, SOHO satellite, UVCS, SUMER and CDS, Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer Satellite (EUVE), ALEXIS small satellite, COS HST FUV Spectrometer Instrument, GALEX Small Explorer Satellite, Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopy Explorer Satellite, and an associated Scientist, IMAGE (EUVI, SI, WIC) Midex Satellite Program. Dr. Tremsin has undertaken the research and development of new technologies in position sensitive photon and neutron counting detectors based on microchannel plates. Dr. Tremsin has performed fundamental research into the development and characterization of new UV- and X-ray sensitive photocathodes, new type of electron multiplying devices (silicon microchannel plates, microsphere plates), developments of high spatial resolution readouts, development of novel thermal neutron imaging and collimation technologies. The new non destructive testing techniques with neutrons developed by Dr. Tremsin enable high resolution studies of structure, phase and strain in materials with the help of neutron transmission Bragg edge spectroscopy. He was also working on the advancement of novel X-ray refractive imaging technique with resonant absorption mirrors. Dr. Tremsin has also worked on several successful NASA astrophysical missions, including those still in orbit: IMAGE, GALEX, FUSE. In addition to his fundamental research activities Dr. Tremsin was a lecturer at the Physics Department of the University of California at Berkeley with typically 60-200 enrolled students in his classes.
Poster Link: Poster
Presentation: Presentation on 12/9/2009 (PDF)