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In this work, we report on a new development of Silicon Drift Detectors (SDDs) for gamma-ray spectroscopy with space science applications. The research is supported by the European Space Agency through the Technology Research Programme (TRP). The final goal of the development is the realization of monolithic arrays of SDDs which will be assembled to readout large (2” and 3”) LaBr3(Ce) scintillators. We present here the results of the development of a single SDD prototype, with 8 × 8 mm2 active area, produced at Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK) semiconductor laboratories. We discuss the design issues related to the specific use of this device as a photo-detector for scintillators. Then, we focus on the read-out electronics. Since this SDD does not include a front-end transistor on the silicon chip, we have adopted a CMOS charge preamplifier (CUBE) recently developed at Politecnico di Milano. This preamplifier has allowed the achievement of state-of-the-art noise performance using a SDD technology process without the integration of the FET (Field Effect Transistor) on the detector chip. A quantum efficiency of about 80% has been measured for the SDD at the emission wavelength band of LaBr3 (360-380 nm). First experimental measurements consisting of direct 55 Fe irradiation of the SDD without scintillator, have demonstrated energy resolution of 140 eV and 129 eV at -20°C and -43°C respectively. By coupling the SDD with a LaBr3(Ce) scintillator (9 mm diameter), we have measured energy resolution of 5.6% FWHM and 2.6% FWHM at 122 keV and 662 keV respectively.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2013