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The Wide Field Imager of the International X-ray Observatory

Space Research Centre, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors and Associated Equipment (Impact Factor: 1.32). 12/2010; DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2010.05.049
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ABSTRACT The International X-ray Observatory (IXO) will be a joint X-ray observatory mission by ESA, NASA and JAXA. It will have a large effective area (3 m2 at 1.25 keV) grazing incidence mirror system with good angular resolution (5 arcsec at 0.1–10 keV) and will feature a comprehensive suite of scientific instruments: an X-ray Microcalorimeter Spectrometer, a High Time Resolution Spectrometer, an X-ray Polarimeter, an X-ray Grating Spectrometer, a Hard X-ray Imager and a Wide-Field Imager.The Wide Field Imager (WFI) has a field-of-view of 18 ft×18 ft. It will be sensitive between 0.1 and 15 keV, offer the full angular resolution of the mirrors and good energy resolution. The WFI will be implemented as a 6 in. wafer-scale monolithical array of 1024×1024 pixels of size. The DEpleted P-channel Field-Effect Transistors (DEPFET) forming the individual pixels are devices combining the functionalities of both detector and amplifier. Signal electrons are collected in a potential well below the transistor's gate, modulating the transistor current. Even when the device is powered off, the signal charge is collected and kept in the potential well below the gate until it is explicitly cleared. This makes flexible and fast readout modes possible.

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