|Thesis abstract: |
Aim of my Doctoral thesis has been the study, the design, the characterization of different integrated circuits, designed for different applications in the field of nuclear electronics. Nowadays, advanced microelectronics processes have made possible advanced signal processing with dedicated ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) for the readout of an increasing number of channels, ensuring at the same time compactness, low noise and low power in the systems. My work in these years has been especially focused on the design of integrated circuits for Silicon Drift Detectors used both in X-ray and ?-ray applications. An interesting research field is to combine ASICs design for the acquisition of signals from SDDs in order to reach the best performances of energy resolution with compactness, low power and high efficiency. Silicon Drift Detectors (SDDs) are relatively recent devices, invented by E. Gatti and P. Rehak in 1983, that are now the de facto standard in low noise, high rate X-ray detection (for instance EDX, EDS, XRF, etc..) in the typical range 0.2 - 30 keV, but they are also a competitive alternative to photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) for the readout of light from scintillators, thanks to their high quantum efficiency and low electronic noise. The simultaneous presence of this two important peculiarities makes SDDs in advantage in scintillator readout respect to other photodetectors, for instance PIN diodes (higher noise) or Silicon PhotoMultipliers (huge improvements in the last few years but still a lower photo detection efficiency) despite of the need to moderate cool them in real applications. The advantages of SDDs respect to PMTs are in robustness and compactness and they allow a simpler use in extreme conditions such as astronomical observatories on satellites or interplanetary missions; furthermore the compatibility of silicon detectors to high magnetic fields allow also the use of SDDs arrays in nuclear imaging combined to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). The activity was carried out in several projects: an 8-channels ASICs for high resolution and high throughput X-rays Spectroscopy with SDDs for the High Time Resolution Spectrometer (HTRS), a ?-rays spectrometer in the range of 150 keV-15 MeV based on large LaBr3:Ce scintillators with a 27-channels ASICs (in collaboration with the European Space Agency, ESA), a highly reconfigurable 8-channels multi detectors (SDD, PMT, Ge, SiLi, etc...) readout chip (VERDI - VErsatile Readout for Detector Integration) and the application of the designed ASICs for nuclear physics experiments (INFN-GAMMA and INFN-SIDDHARTA).