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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Evaluation of Si(Li) detectors for use in Compton telescopes

  • Author(s): Tindall, C.
  • Hau, I.D.
  • Luke, P.N.
  • et al.

Si(Li) detectors are currently being developed for use in large Compton telescopes. A major advantage of silicon when compared with germanium is its ability to operate at significantly higher temperature. To determine the feasibility of using Si(Li) detectors in a Compton telescope, their performance as a function of temperature has been studied. We present leakage current, noise data and gamma-ray spectral performance at various temperatures for single 6-mm thick planar devices. It has been determined that for detectors without a guard ring, the noise began to rise significantly around 210K. Adding a guard ring improved the leakage current by about an order of magnitude and reduced the total noise (detector plus electronics) by about 25 percent. The noise of the detectors with ~;130 mm2 area and a guard ring did not exceed our performance goal of 2 keV FWHM until the temperature was approximately 240K. For 122 keV gamma rays, no evidence of ballistic deficit was seen at 8 ms peaking time and bias voltages corresponding to an internal electric field of ~;1150 V/cm. Some evidence of ballistic deficit was seen for 662 keV gamma rays at temperatures above 220K.

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