Detector performance for the FIREBall-2 UV experiment

April D. Jewell, Erika T. Hamden, Hwei Ru Ong, John Hennessy, Timothy Goodsall, Charles Shapiro, Samuel Cheng, Todd Jones, Alexander Carver, Michael Hoenk, David Schiminovich, Christopher Martin, Shouleh Nikzad

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


We present an overview of the detector for the upcoming Faint Intergalactic Red-shifted Emission Balloon (FIREBall-2) experiment, with a particular focus on the development of device-integrated optical coatings and detector quantum efficiency (QE). FIREBall-2 is designed to measure emission from the strong resonance lines of HI, OVI, and CIV, all red-shifted to 195-225 nm window; its detector is a delta-doped electron multiplying charge coupled device (EM-CCD). Delta-doped arrays, invented at JPL, achieve 100% internal QE from the UV through the visible. External losses due to reflection (∼70% in some UV regions) can be mitigated with antireflection coatings (ARCs). Using atomic layer deposition (ALD), thin-film optical filters are incorporated with existing detector technologies. ALD offers nanometer-scale control over film thickness and interface quality, allowing for precision growth of multilayer films. Several AR coatings, including single and multi-layer designs, were tested for FIREBall-2. QE measurements match modeled transmittance behavior remarkably well, showing improved performance in the target wavelength range. Also under development are ALD coatings to enhance QE for a variety of spectral regions throughout the UV (90-320 nm) and visible (320-1000 nm) range both for space-based imaging and spectroscopy as well as for ground-based telescopes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XIX
EditorsOswald H. W. Siegmund, Oswald H. W. Siegmund
ISBN (Electronic)9781628417678, 9781628417678
StatePublished - 2015
EventUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XIX - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 9 2015Aug 10 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XIX
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • AR coating
  • FIREBall
  • Ultraviolet
  • atomic layer deposition
  • delta doping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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