X-Ray Ccds for Space Applications: Calibration, Radiation Hardness, and Use for Measuring the Spectrum of the Cosmic X-Ray Background
This thesis has two distinct components. One concerns the physics of the high energy resolution X-ray charge coupled devices (CCD) detectors used to measure the cosmic X-ray background (XRB) spectrum. The other involves the measurements and analysis of the XRB spectrum and instrumental background with these detectors on board the advanced satellite for cosmology and astrophysics (ASCA). The XRB has a soft component and a hard component divided at ~2 keV. The hard component is extremely isotropic, suggesting a cosmological origin. The soft component is extremely anisotropic. A galactic component most likely dominates the soft band with X-ray line emission due to a hot plasma surrounding the solar system. ASCA is one of the first of a class of missions designed to overlap the hard and soft X-ray bands. The X-ray CCD's energy resolution allows us to spectrally separate the galactic and cosmological components. Also, the resolution offers the ability to test several specific cosmological models which would make up the XRB. I have concentrated on models for the XRB origin which include active galactic nuclei (AGN) as principal components. I use ASCA data to put spectral constraints on the AGN synthesis model for the XRB. The instrumental portion of this thesis concerns the development and calibration of the X-ray CCDs. I designed, built and operated an X-ray calibration facility for these detectors. It makes use of a reflection grating spectrometer to measure absolute detection efficiency, characteristic absorption edge strengths, and spectral redistribution in the CCD response function. Part of my thesis research includes a study of radiation damage mechanisms in CCDs. This work revealed radiation damage-induced degradation in the spectral response to X-rays. It also uncovered systematic effects which affect both data analysis and CCD design. I have developed a model involving trap energy levels in the CCD band gap structure. These traps reduce the efficiency in which charge transfers through the CCD. I have used the model to extract information about characteristic trapping and detrapping times for electrons in these energy levels out of the X-ray data. (Copies available exclusively from MIT Libraries, Rm. 14-0551, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307. Ph. 617 -253-5668; Fax 617-253-1690.).
- Pub Date:
- January 1995
- ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI;
- Physics: Astronomy and Astrophysics, Physics: Radiation, Physics: Condensed Matter