Performance of Au transmission photocathode on a microchannel plate detector

Lowenstern, M. E.; Harding, E. C.; Huntington, C. M.; Visco, A. J.; Rathore, G.; Drake, R. P.
October 2008
Review of Scientific Instruments;Oct2008, Vol. 79 Issue 10, p10E912
Academic Journal
X-ray framing cameras, employing microchannel plates (MCPs) for detection and signal amplification, play a key role in research in high-energy-density physics. These instruments convert radiographic x-rays into electrons produced by plasma during such experiments into electrons that are amplified in the channels and then detected by a phosphor material. The separation of detection from signal amplification offers potential improvements in sensitivity and noise properties. We have implemented a suspended Au transmission photocathode (160 Å thick) on a MCP and are evaluating it using a 1.5 keV Al Kα x-ray source. We find an approximately twofold increase in the ratio of detected events to incident photons when the photocathode-to-MCP voltage difference is sufficiently large. Our calculations indicate that this increase is probably caused by a combination of signal produced by the photocathode and an increase in the efficiency of detection of x-rays that reach the MCP surface through modification of the local electric field.


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