Radiophysicists sent six sensors based on gallium arsenide manufactured at TSU to the German national synchrotron center DESY (Hamburg). The sensors will check for sensitivity to X-rays and uniformity of characteristics over the entire area and will then be used in a prototype of a unique research instrument - a Compton X-ray microscope for studying biological objects.
In 2018, a joint project of scientists from TSU and DESY was supported by the competition of the Helmholtz Association and the Russian Science Foundation (RSF). Within three years, they will develop the world's first prototype Compton X-ray Microscopy, which will be useful in studying cellular structures, tissues, and long protein molecules. Modern instrumentation basis of such studies is electron microscope. They use a beam of high-energy electrons and this can lead to rapid destruction of the object of study due to electron bombardment. In the Compton X-ray Microscopy, the influence is weaker, the destruction will be slower, and this will increase the time to study the object.
The task of DESY scientists is to develop a data acquisition system, X-ray lenses, and microscope software. The microscope will be tested at DESY using synchrotron X-rays.
In turn, TSU radiophysicists are developing matrix sensors based on gallium arsenide compensated with chromium (HR GaAs: Cr), which are used to record X-ray radiation. Sensors are one of the key elements of the microscope, which determines the sensitivity and spatial resolution of the instrument. As part of the project, the Russian group needs to produce and transfer to German colleagues about 10 sensors with a large active area (84.48 × 28.16 mm2) of 1536 × 512 pixels and about 15 test matrix sensors (14.08 × 14.08 mm2) of 256 × 256 pixels. The pixel pitch of all sensors is 55 microns. This year 3 large and 3 test matrix sensors have already been transferred to tests at DESY.