Development of a Hard X-ray focal plane Compton Polarimeter: A compact polarimetric configuration with Scintillators and Si photomultipliers
(0 votes over all institutions)
X-ray polarization measurement of cosmic sources provides two unique parameters namely degree and angle of polarization which can probe the emission mechanism and geometry at close vicinity of the compact objects. Specifically, the hard X-ray polarimetry is more rewarding because the sources are expected to be intrinsically highly polarized at higher energies. With the successful implementation of Hard X-ray optics in NuSTAR, it is now feasible to conceive Compton polarimeters as focal plane detectors. Such a configuration is likely to provide sensitive polarization measurements in hard X-rays with a broad energy band. We are developing a focal plane hard X-ray Compton polarimeter consisting of a plastic scintillator as active scatterer surrounded by a cylindrical array of CsI(Tl) scintillators. The scatterer is 5 mm diameter and 100 mm long plastic scintillator (BC404) viewed by normal PMT. The photons scattered by the plastic scatterer are collected by a cylindrical array of 16 CsI(Tl) scintillators (5 mm x 5 mm x 150 mm) which are read by Si Photomultiplier (SiPM). Use of the new generation SiPMs ensures the compactness of the instrument which is essential for the design of focal plane detectors. The expected sensitivity of such polarimetric configuration and complete characterization of the plastic scatterer, specially at lower energies have been discussed in Chattopadhyay et al. (Exp. Astron. 35, 391-412, 2013; Astrophys. J. Suppl. 212, 12, 2014). In this paper, we characterize the CsI(Tl) absorbers coupled to SiPM. We also present the experimental results from the fully assembled configuration of the Compton polarimeter.