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Conference Papers Year : 2006

Semiconductor detectors for soft $\gamma$-ray astrophysics


The study of γ-ray bursts, compact objects, nucleosynthesis and supernova remnants triggers the most interest today in the soft γ-ray domain. These topics have various experimental requirements with emphasis either on imaging or on spectroscopy. Recent progress has shown the great potential of semiconductor detectors for both applications at the expense of classical scintillators such as NaI or CsI. They also gave insight into their long-term in-orbit behaviour. Room temperature semiconductor detectors, particularly CdTe and CdZnTe, are confirmed as the best choice for imaging applications. As illustrated by the INTEGRAL/ISGRI camera, the CdTe stability is better than expected; its internal background is comparable to that of scintillators, and the spectroscopic degradation in space is slow with a lifetime of about 40 years on an eccentric orbit. Cooled germanium detectors offer the best energy resolution but degrade more rapidly under the cosmic-ray irradiation. However, the INTEGRAL/SPI spectrometer has demonstrated that periodic in-orbit annealings, allowing for a full recovery of the energy resolution, can maintain the spectroscopic performance over several years. Most future projects, focussing on coded mask or Compton telescopes, will take advantage of the semiconductor technology, particularly that related to the ambient temperature detectors.

Dates and versions

in2p3-00179338 , version 1 (15-10-2007)



F. Lebrun. Semiconductor detectors for soft $\gamma$-ray astrophysics. 7th International Workshop on Radiation Imaging Detectors - IWORID 2005, Jul 2005, Grenoble, France. pp.200-204, ⟨10.1016/j.nima.2006.01.121⟩. ⟨in2p3-00179338⟩
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