There is a compelling need for a high frame rate imaging detector with a wide dynamic range, from single x-rays/pixel/pulse to >106 x-rays/pixel/pulse, that is capable of operating at both x-ray free electron laser (XFEL) and 3rd generation sources with sustained fluxes of > 1011 x-rays/pixel/s [1, 2, 3]. We propose to meet these requirements with the High Dynamic Range Pixel Array Detector (HDR-PAD) by (a) increasing the speed of charge removal strategies [4], (b) increasing integrator range by implementing adaptive gain [5], and (c) exploiting the extended charge collection times of electron-hole pair plasma clouds that form when a sufficiently large number of x-rays are absorbed in a detector sensor in a short period of time [6]. We have developed a measurement platform similar to the one used in [6] to study the effects of high electron-hole densities in silicon sensors using optical lasers to emulate the conditions found at XFELs. Characterizations of the employed tunable wavelength laser with picosecond pulse duration have shown Gaussian focal spots sizes of 6 ± 1 µm rms over the relevant spectrum and 2 to 3 orders of magnitude increase in available intensity compared to previous measurements presented in [6]. Results from measurements on a typical pixelated silicon diode intended for use with the HDR-PAD (150 µm pixel size, 500 µm thick sensor) are presented.

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