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In this work, the spectroscopic performances of new cadmium–zinc–telluride (CZT) pixel detectors recently developed at IMEM-CNR of Parma (Italy) are presented. Sub-millimetre arrays with pixel pitch less than 500 µm, based on boron oxide encapsulated vertical Bridgman grown CZT crystals, were fabricated. Excellent room-temperature performance characterizes the detectors even at high-bias-voltage operation (9000 V cm−1), with energy resolutions (FWHM) of 4% (0.9 keV), 1.7% (1 keV) and 1.3% (1.6 keV) at 22.1, 59.5 and 122.1 keV, respectively. Charge-sharing investigations were performed with both uncollimated and collimated synchrotron X-ray beams with particular attention to the mitigation of the charge losses at the inter-pixel gap region. High-rate measurements demonstrated the absence of high-flux radiation-induced polarization phenomena up to 2 × 106 photons mm−2 s−1. These activities are in the framework of an international collaboration on the development of energy-resolved photon-counting systems for high-flux energy-resolved X-ray imaging.

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