We herein report a concept study of a transition edge sensor (TES) X-ray microcalorimeter array with two different thickness absorbers. We developed an energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscope (EDS) with a 64-pixel TES array and installed it on a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) for material analysis. One of the key applications of the proposed system is the microanalysis of astromaterials, for which the relative abundance of light elements such as boron, carbon, and oxygen against silicon are crucial. However, the line sensitivity below ∼ 500 eV for the our STEM TES EDS system was not enough to detect the X-ray from light elements because of the relatively high continuum emission and low detection efficiency, which occurs due to the X-ray window and the optical blocking filters. A simple solution to increase line sensitivity at low energy is the adoption of thin X-ray absorbers that leads to an improvement in the energy resolution. However, doing so causes the sensitivity to decrease for high energy lines. Utilizing the spot-size dependence of the polycapillary X-ray optics on energy, which are used in the STEM TES EDS system, we studied a design in which thin absorbers are distributed on the outer area of detector. We optimized the design using the raytracing analysis of optics. A thin (300 nm) absorber is placed on the 52 outer pixels, while a thick (3.5 μ m) absorber is placed on the central 12 pixels. The thin pixels detect approximately 50–60% of the total counts in 0.1–2 keV, while the central thick pixels detect approximately 50–80% of the total counts in 2–10 keV. We also demonstrated the fabrication process of two-thickness absorber arrays.
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