The Si/CdTe semiconductor camera of the ASTRO-H Hard X-ray Imager (HXI)

Goro Sato*, Kouichi Hagino, Shin Watanabe, Kei Genba, Atsushi Harayama, Hironori Kanematsu, Jun Kataoka, Miho Katsuragawa, Madoka Kawaharada, Shogo Kobayashi, Motohide Kokubun, Yoshikatsu Kuroda, Kazuo Makishima, Kazunori Masukawa, Taketo Mimura, Katsuma Miyake, Hiroaki Murakami, Toshio Nakano, Kazuhiro Nakazawa, Hirofumi NodaHirokazu Odaka, Mitsunobu Onishi, Shinya Saito, Rie Sato, Tamotsu Sato, Hiroyasu Tajima, Hiromitsu Takahashi, Tadayuki Takahashi, Shin׳ichiro Takeda, Takayuki Yuasa

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)


    The Hard X-ray Imager (HXI) is one of the instruments onboard the ASTRO-H mission [1–4] to be launched in early 2016. The HXI is the focal plane detector of the hard X-ray reflecting telescope that covers an energy range from 5 to 80 keV. It will execute observations of astronomical objects with a sensitivity for point sources as faint as 1/100,000 of the Crab nebula at >10keV. The HXI camera – the imaging part of the HXI – is realized by a hybrid semiconductor detector system that consists of silicon (Si) and cadmium telluride (CdTe) semiconductor detectors. Here, we present the final design of the HXI camera and report on the development of the flight model. The camera is composed of four layers of Double-sided Silicon Strip Detectors (DSSDs) and one layer of CdTe Double-sided Strip Detector (CdTe-DSD), each with an imaging area of 32 mm×32 mm. The strip pitch of the Si and CdTe sensors is 250 μm, and the signals from all 1280 strips are processed by 40 Application Specified Integrated Circuits (ASICs) developed for the HXI. The five layers of sensors are vertically stacked with a 4 mm spacing to increase the detection efficiency. The thickness of the sensors is 0.5 mm for the Si, and 0.75 mm for the CdTe. In this configuration, soft X-ray photons will be absorbed in the Si part, while hard X-ray photons will go through the Si part and will be detected in the CdTe part. The design of the sensor trays, peripheral circuits, power connections, and readout schemes are also described. The flight models of the HXI camera have been manufactured, tested and installed in the HXI instrument and then on the satellite.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)235-241
    Number of pages7
    JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
    Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sept 21


    • CdTe
    • Hard X-ray detector
    • Semiconductor detector
    • Silicon
    • Strip detector

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
    • Instrumentation


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