X-ray detectors of the CAST experiment
AuthorYıldız, Süleyman Cenk
MetadataShow full item record
CitationYILDIZ, S.C. (2014). X-ray detectors of the CAST experiment. Journal of Instrumentation, Volume 9, 8p. http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-0221/9/03/C03047.
CERN Axion Solar Telescope (CAST) is an experiment probing hypothetical particles: the axions, created in the solar core. Inside the transverse magnetic field of the CAST magnet, axions can be converted into x-rays, and be detected by four x-ray detectors at CAST. The expected x-ray signal in CAST is in 1-10 keV range, intensity depending strongly on the coupling constant of axion-photon conversion gag, which is expected to be low. This requires CAST to have detectors with very low background levels.The CAST Experiment makes use of three Micromesh Gaseous Structure (micromegas) detectors, which are gaseous detectors, derived from ideas of Multiwire Proportional Chambers (MWPC). CAST Micromegas detectors show perfect stability, good spatial and energy resolution. The intense study on Micromegas has enabled CAST to understand the nature of its background level, and improve it by a factor of 10(2) over ten years. New detector design, new readout system, better cosmic veto and addition of x-ray telescope will further improve the background in the next data taking of the experiment.The Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) of CAST is a pn-CCD detector with 200 x 64 pixels. The CAST CCD is coupled to an X-ray telescope, focusing all the parallel x-rays into a 9 mm diameter spot. The CCD will be replaced by the InGrid detector, a special manufactured micromegas detector. It is able to detect single electrons, and the low energy capabilities will open new frontiers on search of axions and other exotic particles. Another option is the Silicon Drift Detector (SDD), which is being tested in 2013, and has an energy threshold as low as 250eV.The CAST experiment is the pioneering helioscope that excludes an important part of axion mass-coupling constant parameter space, and expects to exclude more in the following years. To succeed CAST, a new experiment, the International AXion Observatory (IAXO) is being designed and optimised, comprising the construction of a magnet specially built for axion search as well as new detectors that will enable to improve the actual limits by 1-1.5 orders of magnitude.