Directly-deposited blocking filters for high-performance silicon x-ray detectors
July 1, 2016
Silicon X-ray detectors often require blocking filters to mitigate noise and out-of-band signal from UV and visible backgrounds. Such filters must be thin to minimize X-ray absorption, so direct deposition of filter material on the detector entrance surface is an attractive approach to fabrication of robust filters. On the other hand, the soft (E < 1 keV) X-ray spectral resolution of the detector is sensitive to the charge collection efficiency in the immediate vicinity of its entrance surface, so it is important that any filter layer is deposited without disturbing the electric field distribution there. We have successfully deposited aluminum blocking filters, ranging in thickness from 70 to 220nm, on back-illuminated CCD X-ray detectors passivated by means of molecular beam epitaxy. Here we report measurements showing that directly deposited filters have little or no effect on soft X-ray spectral resolution. We also find that in applications requiring very large optical density (> OD 6) care must be taken to prevent light from entering the sides and mounting surfaces of the detector. Our methods have been used to deposit filters on the detectors of the REXIS instrument scheduled to fly on OSIRIS-ReX later this year.