Diamond Light Source and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) are combining their detector systems expertise to push the boundaries of detector development. Diamond’s largest experimental station, the X-ray Imaging and Coherence beamline (I13) will make use of the advanced technology.
The new X-ray detector (EXCALIBUR) will incorporate a highly advanced silicon chip Medipix3, developed by an international consortium led by CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research. As with most detectors, the special readout chip acts as a camera taking images based on the number of photons which hit the pixels when the electronic shutter is open. However, the institutes behind the new chip, the Medipix3 Collaboration, aim to go much further than before, permitting colour imaging and continual operation.
“The EXCALIBUR detector will be the first of its kind. Never before has there been such a large scale application of the Medipix3 chips. We are building on the pioneering work carried out by the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility [ESRF] and the Medipix2 Collaboration and taking this new detector further to enhance I13’s capabilities. We have set ourselves a challenging target but working with STFC to combine our expertise will help us achieve our goal.”
Nicola Tartoni, Senior Detector Scientist at Diamond
The EXCALIBUR detector (pictured right) will comprise of 48 readout chips, over nine times the number of chips on its predecessor, Maxipix, developed by the ESRF as part of the Medipix2 Collaboration. Combined, the 48 chips will contain over 3,000,000 pixels, each measuring 55 microns across, meaning that the detector will cover a large area with each ‘shot’. The team is also aiming for a 1 kHz frame rate which would enable time-resolved studies.
“We have now completed the conceptual design so we have a clear idea of what we want to produce. The next step is to draw up a detailed design for each component before we start assembly. Once complete, we will run the detector for testing. Delivery to Diamond’s X-ray Imaging and Coherence beamline is scheduled for March 2012.”
John Lipp (STFC) Project Manager for the collaboration
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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