Miniature spectral radiation camera with Timepix3 chip as component for your system

The popular MiniPIX TPX3 device developed by ADVACAM can be integrated into the systems of our partners. The fancy metallic box of standard MiniPIX TPX3 is not needed in such cases. The new MiniPIX TPX3 flex module has been developed for such a purpose.

These modules are very compact and easy to use. Several of them can be combined to cover a larger area or wider solid angle. They are connected to the readout computer via the USB type Micro-B (Standard USB 2.0 High-Speed).

The device concept and functionality are based on a successful MiniPIX detector with an older Timepix chip. This previous version is used e.g. by NASA in space on board of ISS collecting data on space radiation (see NASA video here) and so-called space weather.

Fig.1. Dimensions of MiniPIX TPX3 flex with (100 mm long version). The St and Sw parameters depend on sensor type. The flexible connection can be either 50 or 100 mm long.

Configurations, sensor types and applications

The MiniPIX TPX3 flex device can be equipped with several sensor types differing in material and thickness. The standard options include Silicon (100, 300, 500, and 1000 µm) and CdTe (1000 and 2000 µm). Custom types such as GaAs or CZT are possible too.

All applications of MiniPIX TPX3 are supported:

  • XRF imaging:
  • XRD, SAXS in standard or energy dispersive version such as this
  • Radiation tracking, monitoring, education see this
  • Electron microscopy

Custom solutions: Let us do it for you

The manipulation with naked sensors is extremely delicate. Especially CdTe or CZT materials are very soft and fragile. Any touch or cleaning attempt usually causes irreversible sensor damage. The warranty voids in such cases.

So, whenever possible we strongly suggest that ADVACAM manufactures (or assembles) more complete detector units. For this reason, ADVACAM doesn’t deliver the MiniPIX TPX3 flex version as standard delivery – we always want to discuss the particular application and integration plan.

Properties and limitations

All functional properties of the MiniPIX TPX3 flex are identical to the standard MiniPIX TPX3 version. Due to simplified mechanics (with vulnerable parts exposed) there are extra requirements users have to provide:

  • Heat-sink: The sensor part has to be attached to the heat-sink with stabilized temperature (the stability of detector calibration depends on temperature stability). The sensor part generates about 1.3 W of heat to be absorbed.
  • Mechanical protection: The vulnerable parts are exposed and very sensitive. Users have to avoid any touches to the sensor surface or wirebonds.
  • Electric protection: The sensor is biased to several hundred volts (depending on the type). The proximity of any conductive surface can cause discharges and potential damages (low current but high voltage).

Fig. 2. The device is delivered with a protective plastic box covering the sensitive detector part. The protective box is used only for transportation. The protective cover has to be removed before use to avoid sensor damage from overheating. The removing has to be performed with extreme care avoiding any touches to the sensor chip or wire-bonds. The sensor chip is biased with high voltage up to ±500V. To avoid sparks or unwanted discharge follow EN 61010-1 (chapter 6.7, Insulation requirements. Fig. 4, Tab. 6, Annex C).

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