Current students


Section: Electronics

Major Research topic:
Development of a Readout Integrated Circuit ASIC for imaging spectrometry

My research activity is placed inside the PLUS (Planetary Ultraviolet Spectrometer) project, a collaboration between Politecnico di Milano, Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica cosmica (INAF IASF-Milano) and Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie (CNR IFN). The goal is to develop a novel dual channel EUV/VUV imaging spectrometer working in 55-200 nm spectral range. Spectroscopic observations in the vacuum and extreme ultraviolet (VUV/EUV) spectral regionis of great interest in various scientific fields, such as in Solar Physics, in the physics of interstellar medium and in the planetary exospheres studies. VUV/EUV imaging spectrometry is natively the best technique to probe the exospheres (direct detection) and the highest-altitude atmospheres (through stellar occultation) of planets and satellites. It is particularly suitable to determine constituents, to study the atmosphere dynamics, to understand the formation mechanisms and the surface releaseprocesses. In addition to exospheres and atmospheres studies, the VUV/EUV spectroscopy is a valuable technique to investigate auroras occurring in giant planets. The aim of my research activity is to design the Readout Integrated Circuit (ROIC) ASIC to be coupled with a novel MicroChannel Plate (MCP) detector. The ASIC is a pixelated chip in which each pixel contains an anode to collect the electrons emitted by the MCP, a low-noise amplifier, comparators to recognize single photon events, electronics to allows recognizing the local peaks in order to count each event one and only one time, and counters which will form the counting matrix. A low-noise shaping amplifier is extremely important to allow to use the MCP detector with a low gain, with significant advantages in dynamics and lifetime. The high requirement on spatial resolution led to the choice of a small pixel area and a charge sharing correction logic to count each event one and only one time. Moreover, to not lose events either during counting or during the readout a high counting rate capability and two counters are required.