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Session 43 - Gamma-ray Burst Counterparts and Afterglows.
Display session, Tuesday, June 09
We report recent progress on CZT (Cadmium Zinc Telluride) detectors by the UCSD/WU collaboration. CZT, a room- temperature semiconductor, is a very promising detector material for high energy X-ray astronomy. It can operate from <10 keV to >200 keV, and give sub-keV energy resolution and sub-mm spatial resolution. We have developed an advanced CZT detector that uses two innovations to improve spectral response, give it 3-D localization of energy loss events, and reduce background at high altitudes and in space. The detector measures 12 x 12 x 2 mm^3 and was manufactured by eV Products. Each face has a strip readouts with 500 micron pitch electrodes. The 2 faces' strips are orthogonal, which provides x-y localization into 500 micron pixels. One innovation is "steering electrodes", which are located between the anode strips. They improve the anode charge collection and energy resolution, and tailing due to hole trapping is nearly totally eliminated. The energy resolution at 60 keV is 4 keV and the peak to valley ratio is 50. The other innovation is 3-D localization of energy losses. This is done by comparing the signals from the anode strips, cathode strips, and steering electrodes. There is a strong depth of interaction signature, which can be used to accept events which interact close to the cathode strips (where X-rays of interest are incident) and reject deeper interactions (which are likely to be background). The detector was tested in a balloon flight at 108,000 feet in October 1997. Background was reduced by passive shielding, consisting of lead graded with tin and copper. The lead thickness was changed by command during the flight, and was 7, 2, and 0 mm thick. With the 2 mm thickness the 20 - 40 keV background for the central 30 pixels was 8x10^-4c/cm^2-s-keV when the depth of interaction signature was used to reject background, and 7 times greater when this information was not used. The lower background is 12 times less than other workers have obtained with planar CZT detectors with the same thickness and shielding. Thus our advanced CZT detector techniques represent an important improvement in the capabilities of CZT detectors for high energy X-ray astronomy. A second balloon flight is planned for April 1998 with anticoincidence shielding and even lower background is expected. Preliminary results from this flight will be presented.
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