Crafting Detectors Atomic Layer by Atomic Layer has a High Impact on Ultraviolet Astrophysics Missions

Tuesday, August 18, 2020 - 10:40 in Astronomy & Space

PROJECT Advanced FUV/UV/Visible Photon Counting and Ultralow Noise Detectors SNAPSHOT Researchers have developed methods to alter the surface properties of ultraviolet detectors and produce instruments with unprecedented sensitivity and performance. The ultraviolet (UV) spectral range is rich with information about the atmospheres of exosolar planets, star formation, supernovae, the circumgalactic medium, and much more. Two future flagship mission concepts, Habitable Exoplanet characterization (HabEx) and Large Ultraviolet/Optical/Infrared survey mission (LUVOIR), would cover the important UV region. These powerful Earth-orbiting telescopes need detectors that are efficient, sensitive, and optimized for this specific spectral range; otherwise, the majority of photons these telescopes intend to gather will remain “unseen.”  A NASA JPL team has developed new detector technologies that will enable instruments on these and other NASA missions. The challenge involved in detecting ultraviolet photons is almost universally experienced by anyone who has suffered a sunburn. Because ultraviolet light is absorbed in the first few nanometers of most materials,...

Read the whole article on Science @ NASA

More from Science @ NASA

Latest Science Newsletter

Get the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!

Check out our next project, Biology.Net