Evangelista Y. et al.
in Journal of Instrumentation, 13 (2018), P09011. DOI:10.1088/1748-0221/13/09/P09011
© 2018 IOP Publishing Ltd and Sissa Medialab. Multi-pixel fast silicon detectors represent the enabling technology for the next generation of space-borne experiments devoted to high-resolution spectral-timing studies of low-flux compact cosmic sources. Several imaging detectors based on frame-integration have been developed as focal plane devices for X-ray space-borne missions but, when coupled to large-area concentrator X-ray optics, these detectors are affected by strong pile-up and dead-time effects, thus limiting the time and energy resolution as well as the overall system sensitivity. The current technological gap in the capability to realize pixelated silicon detectors for soft X-rays with fast, photon-by-photon response and nearly Fano-limited energy resolution therefore translates into the unavailability of sparse read-out sensors suitable for high throughput X-ray astronomy applications. In the framework of the ReDSoX Italian collaboration, we developed a new, sparse read-out, pixelated silicon drift detector which operates in the energy range 0.5-15 keV with nearly Fano-limited energy resolution (≤150 eV FWHM @ 6 keV) at room temperature or with moderate cooling (∼0°C to +20°C). In this paper, we present the design and the laboratory characterization of the first 16-pixel (4 × 4) drift detector prototype (PixDD), read-out by individual ultra low-noise charge sensitive preamplifiers (SIRIO) and we discuss the future PixDD prototype developments.