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Multi-channel programmable power supply with temperature compensation for silicon sensors
Published in AIP
Volume: 87.0
Issue: 1.0
Silicon Photo-Multipliers (SiPMs) are increasingly becoming popular for discrete photon counting applications due to the wealth of advantages they offer over conventional photo-detectors such as photo-multiplier tubes and hybrid photo-diodes. SiPMs are used in variety of applications ranging from high energy physics and nuclear physics experiments to medical diagnostics. The gain of a SiPM is directly proportional to the difference between applied and breakdown voltage of the device. However, the breakdown voltage depends critically on the ambient temperature and has a large temperature co-efficient in the range of 40-60 mV/°C resulting in a typical gain variation of 3%-5%/°C [Dinu et al., in IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium, Medical Imaging Conference and 17th Room Temperature Semiconductor Detector Workshop (IEEE, 2010), p. 215]. We plan to use the SiPM as a replacement for PMT in the cosmic ray experiment (GRAPES-3) at Ooty [Gupta et al., Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res., Sect. A 540, 311 (2005)]. There the SiPMs will be operated in an outdoor environment subjected to temperature variation of about 15 °C over a day. A gain variation of more than 50% was observed for such large variations in the temperature. To stabilize the gain of the SiPM under such operating conditions, a low-cost, multi-channel programmable power supply (0-90 V) was designed that simultaneously provides the bias voltage to 16 SiPMs. The programmable power supply (PPS) was designed to automatically adjust the operating voltage for each channel with a built-in closed loop temperature feedback mechanism. The PPS provides bias voltage with a precision of 6 mV and measures the load current with a precision of 1 nA. Using this PPS, a gain stability of 0.5% for SiPM (Hamamatsu, S10931-050P) has been demonstrated over a wide temperature range of 15 °C. The design methodology of the PPS system, its validation, and the results of the tests carried out on the SiPM is presented in this article. The proposed design also has the capability of gain stabilization of devices with non-linear thermal response.
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JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
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