The emergence of high position resolution (∼10 μm) silicon detectors in recent times have highlighted the urgent need for the development of new automated optical scanners of micron level resolution suited for characterizing microscopic features of these detectors. More specifically, for the newly developed silicon photo-multipliers (SiPM) that are compact, possessing excellent photon detection efficiency with gain comparable to photo-multiplier tube. In a short time, since their invention the SiPMs are already being widely used in several high-energy physics and astrophysics experiments as the photon readout element. The SiPM is a high quantum efficiency, multi-pixel photon counting detector with fast timing and high gain. The presence of a wide variety of photo sensitive silicon detectors with high spatial resolution requires their performance evaluation to be carried out by photon beams of very compact spot size. We have designed a high resolution optical scanner that provides a monochromatic focused beam on a target plane. The transverse size of the beam was measured by the knife-edge method to be 1.7 μm at 1 − σ level. Since the beam size was an order of magnitude smaller than the typical feature size of silicon detectors, this optical scanner can be used for selective excitation of these detectors. The design and operational details of the optical scanner, high precision programmed movement of target plane (0.1 μm) integrated with general purpose data acquisition system developed for recording static and transient response photo sensitive silicon detector are reported in this paper. Entire functionality of scanner is validated by using it for selective excitation of individual pixels in a SiPM and identifying response of active and dead regions within SiPM. Results from these studies are presented in this paper.
Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology