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Solid State Detectors

[Solid state detector]An example of an array solid state detector

Concept: Pass charge from one capacitor to another by changing applied voltage in a coordinated fashion. The photon strikes silicon and is converted to a charge that can be transported and measured by electronic structure built on monolithic Silicon chip.

Two types of optical solid state detectors

  • Charge Coupled Device (CCD)
  • Charge Injection Device (CID)

Advantages of Solid State Detectors

  • Wide range of elements and wavelengths
  • Global analysis over the range of the chip
  • Retrospective analysis for 'extra' elements
  • Simultaneous analysis of different spectral areas
  • Simultaneous analysis of signal and background radiation
  • Cheap
  • Compact design of optics

Disadvantages (compared with photomultiplier tubes)

  • Smaller signals, mainly because of the much smaller surface area of the light sensitive region
  • Higher noise, chiefly counting noise
  • Poorer signal to background ratios, particular for short acquisition time
  • Occasionally worse detection limits, but not necessarly
  • Poorer spectral resolution - mathematical corrections required
  • Resolution changes with wavelength in some designs
  • Blooming at high intensities occurs in nearby pixels
  • Slower response time
  • Speed usually limited by the need to integrate to overcome counting noise
  • Smaller dynamic range of intensities

Further Information on the WWW

Authors: Jean Charles Lefebvre and Geoff Tyler, Horiba Jobin-Yvon, France

First published on the web: 15 January 2000.