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Dr Matthew Soman

Professional biography

Current post: The Open University, Post-doctorate Research Associate, ‘Image Sensor Scientist’

I am the principal scientist working to characterise and qualify a new CMOS Image Sensor, which has been selected for the high-resolution and wide-angle optical camera on the European Space Agency’s JUICE mission, destined for Jupiter. The camera, called JANUS, is being developed in a collaboration between institutions from the UK, Italy, Germany and Spain, where the Open University is supported by the UK Space Agency to provide a space-qualified photo-sensitive detector.

I am taking the lead in an extensive qualification programme that includes exposing detectors to protons, gammas, electrons and heavy ions at fluence, dose and/or energy levels equivalent to those expected during or at the end of the mission life-time of JUICE. The programme is critical to understand how the sensor performance will change during the mission due to its exposure to the harsh space environment, and ensure that a sufficiently good imaging quality will be maintained. The extensive detector characterisation pre- and post- exposure to the irradiation sources also opens up unique avenues of research to develop my understanding of the detector's behaviour. I use the results to advise the JANUS camera development, operation and science teams, and directly inform the detector manufacturer’s engineers to modify and improve designs for the next-generation of sensors, thanks to the research-industrial collaboration between the Centre for Electronic Imaging and e2v technologies plc.

Following on from my PhD, I continue to work in cooperation with the detector group and RIXS beamline scientists at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) to advise on the implementation of his research in a new RIXS camera system.

 

Postgraduate: The Open University, PhD, ‘High-resolution detectors for soft X-ray spectroscopy’

My PhD was a joint studentship between The Open University and the detector group and RIXS beamline scientists at PSI to investigate opportunities to improve the detector performance for the RIXS spectrometer at PSI.

A clear accomplishment from my work was a demonstration that the resolution of the spectrometer’s detector could be improved by a factor of 10 if the current camera was replaced with a photon-counting camera using EM-CCD technology and, most importantly, specially developed novel centroiding algorithms. In further studies, I used sample data from the RIXS spectrometer at PSI to suggest configurations and operational modes for a new camera that could be designed to make use of the substantial resolution improvement. The success of this work has led to PSI contracting a camera company to design, manufacture and commission a new camera system incorporating the recommendations and software algorithms, and I continue to work with my colleagues at PSI on this.

 

Undergraduate: University of Warwick, MPhys, First Class (with Honours)

 

Research interests

I have 5 years of hands-on experience in operating photo-sensitive detectors in a world-leading research laboratory, and developing data processing and analysis pathways for both testing in the laboratory environment and during experimental campaigns at large-scale facilities such as the synchrotrons, BESSY-II (Germany), SLS (Switzerland) and Diamond (UK).

I pioneered the application of centroiding algorithms to soft X-ray events for the RIXS application during my PhD and continue to advise on their application in a new camera design. I developed the novel procedures that are essential for commissioning the centroiding algorithms and cameras in order to achieve optimum resolution performance, and plan to continue this avenue of research to continue improving this new generation of RIXS spectrometer cameras whilst investigating possibilities for detector and algorithm solutions which will yield even better resolutions and throughputs.

I am currently leading the radiation qualification of a CMOS Image Sensor, and the programme is allowing me to explore the effects of radiation on CMOS sensor technology. Particular areas of interest include non-linear responsivity measurements and correction, dark current behaviour, Random Telegraph Signal (RTS) and image lag. Future irradiations in the programme will lead to further avenues of investigation.

Teaching interests

I supervise an STFC-funded PhD student who is researching themes related to the performance of next-generation CMOS Image Sensors for space applications. I also manage the day-to-day activities of a PDRA.

I have practical and hands-on teaching experience from leading a ‘CCD Basics’ course provided to engineers and scientists in the format of an intense 3-day workshop. Demonstration laboratory kits are used to operate a CCD using a variety of techniques to provide the participants, often from the European Space Agency, with a solid background in image sensor characterisation.

Publications

Non-linear responsivity characterisation of a CMOS Active Pixel Sensor for high resolution imaging of the Jovian system (2015-02-09)
Soman, M.; Stefanov, K.; Weatherill, D.; Holland, A.; Gow, J. and Leese, M.
Journal of Instrumentation, 10, Article C02012(2)
Development of EM-CCD-based X-ray detector for synchrotron applications (2014-08-14)
Tutt, J. H.; Hall, D. J.; Soman, M. R.; Holland, A. D.; Warren, A.; Connolley, T. and Evagora, A. M.
Electronics Letters, 50(17) (pp. 1224-1226)
Quantum efficiency measurements in the swept charge device CCD236 (2014-04)
Smith, P. H.; Gow, J. P. D.; Murray, N. J.; Tutt, J. H.; Soman, Matthew and Holland, A. D.
Journal of Instrumentation, 9, Article P04019(4)
Comparison of EM-CCD and scientific CMOS based camera systems for high resolution X-ray imaging and tomography applications (2014)
Tutt, J. H.; Hall, D. J.; Soman, M. R.; Holland, A. D.; Warren, A. J.; Connolley, T. and Evagora, A. M.
Journal of Instrumentation, 9, Article P06017(6)
Developing a CCD camera with high spatial resolution for RIXS in the soft X-ray range (2013-12)
Soman, M. R.; Hall, D. J.; Tutt, J. H.; Murray, N. J.; Holland, A. D.; Schmitt, T.; Raabe, J. and Schmitt, B.
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, 731 (pp. 47-52)
Improving the spatial resolution of soft X-ray detection using an Electron-Multiplying Charge-Coupled Device (2013-01)
Soman, M. R.; Hall, D. J.; Tutt, J. H.; Murray, N. J.; Holland, A. D.; Schmitt, T.; Raabe, J. and Schmitt, B.
Journal of Instrumentation, 8, Article C01046(1)
The influence of electron multiplication and internal X-ray fluorescence on the performance of a scintillator-based gamma camera (2012-06-21)
Hall, David; Holland, Andrew and Soman, Matthew
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, 678 (64- 77)
Electron-multiplying CCDs for future soft X-ray spectrometers (2012-02)
Tutt, J. H.; Holland, A. D.; Murray, N. J. ; Harriss, R. D.; Hall, D. J. and Soman, M.
Journal of Instrumentation, 7(2) (C02031)
Improving the resolution in soft X-ray emission spectrometers through photon-counting using an Electron Multiplying CCD (2012)
Hall, David; Soman, Matthew; Tutt, James; Murray, Neil; Holland, Andrew; Schmitt, T; Raabe, J; Strocov, V N and Schmitt, B
Journal of Instrumentation, 7 (C01063)
Improving the spatial resolution of a soft X-ray Charge Coupled Device used for Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering (2011)
Soman, M. R.; Hall, D. J.; Tutt, J. H.; Murray, N. J.; Holland, A. D.; Schmitt, T.; Raabe, J. and Schmitt, B.
Journal of Instrumentation, 6(11) (C11021)
Development of the X-ray camera for the OGRE sub-orbital rocket (2016-08-05)
Lewis, Matthew R. F.; Soman, Matthew R.; Holland, Andrew D.; Murray, Neil J.; Hall, David; Weatherill, Daniel P.; Tutt, James H.; McEntaffer, Randall L.; DeRoo, Casey T.; Schultz, Ted B. and Holland, Karen
In : SPIE High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy VII (26 - 29 June 2016, Edinburgh, United Kingdom)
Electro-optic and radiation damage performance of the CIS115, an imaging sensor for the JANUS optical camera on-board JUICE (2016-08-01)
Soman, M. R.; Allanwood, E. A. H.; Holland, A. D.; Stefanov, K.; Pratlong, J.; Leese, M.; Gow, J. P. D. and Smith, D. R.
In : High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy VII (June 26 2016, Edinburgh)
Proton-induced Random Telegraph Signal in the CMOS imaging sensor for JANUS, the visible imaging telescope on JUICE (2015-09-22)
Winstone, G. P.; Soman, M. R.; Allanwood, E. A. H.; Holland, A. D.; Gow, J. P. D.; Stefanov, K. and Leese, M.
In : UV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes and Instruments: Innovative Technologies and Concepts VII (9 August 2015, San Diego, CA) (96020N)
The impact of radiation damage on photon counting with an EMCCD for the WFIRST-AFTA coronagraph (2015-09-11)
Bush, Nathan; Hall, David; Holland, Andrew; Burgon, Ross; Murray, Neil; Gow, Jason; Soman, Matthew; Jordan, Doug; Demers, Richard; Harding, Leon K.; Hoenk, Michael; Michaels, Darren; Nemati, Bijan and Peddada, Pavani
In : SPIE Optics and Photonics 2015 (16-20 August 2015, San Diego, CA)
Proton irradiation of the CIS115 for the JUICE mission (2015-09)
Soman, M. R.; Allanwood, E. A. H.; Holland, A. D.; Winstone, G. P.; Gow, J. P. D.; Stefanov, K. and Leese, M.
In : UV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes and Instruments: Innovative Technologies and Concepts VII (9 August 2015, San Diego, CA)
Design and characterisation of the new CIS115 sensor for JANUS, the high resolution camera on JUICE (2014)
Soman, Matthew; Holland, Andrew; Stefanov, Konstantin; Gow, Jason; Leese, Mark; Pratlong, Jérôme and Turner, Peter
In : High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy VI (22 - 25 June 2014, Montreal)
The JANUS camera onboard JUICE mission for Jupiter system optical imaging (2014)
Della Corte, Vincenzo; Schmitz, Nicole; Zusi, Michele; Castro, José Maria; Leese, Mark; Debei, Stefano; Magrin, Demetrio; Michalik, Harald; Palumbo, Pasquale; Jaumann, Ralf; Cremonese, Gabriele; Hoffmann, Harald; Holland, Andrew; Lara, Luisa Maria; Fiethe, Björn; Friso, Enrico; Greggio, Davide; Herranz, Miguel; Koncz, Alexander; Lichopoj, Alexander; Martinez-Navajas, Ignacio; Mazzotta Epifani, Elena; Michaelis, Harald; Ragazzoni, Roberto; Roatsch, Thomas; Rodrigo, Julio; Rodriguez, Emilio; Schipani, Pietro; Soman, Matthew and Zaccariotto, Mirco
In : Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave (22-27 July 2014, Montreal, Quebec)
High-resolution soft x-ray spectrometry using the electron-multiplying charge-coupled device (EM-CCD) (2013-08-26)
Hall, David J.; Tutt, James H.; Soman, Matthew; Holland, Andrew D.; Murray, Neil J.; Schmitt, Bernd and Schmitt, Thorsten
In : UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy (25-26 August 2013, San Diego)
The use of EM-CCDs on high resolution soft x-ray spectrometers (2011-09)
Tutt, James; Holland, Andrew; Murray, Neil; Harriss, Richard; Hall, David; Soman, Matthew; McEntaffer, Randall L. and Endicott, James
In : UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XVII (21-24 Aug 2011, San Diego)
High-resolution detectors for soft X-ray spectroscopy (2014-03)
Soman, Matthew
PhD thesis The Open University
CCD QE in the Soft X-ray Range (2017-03-14)
Moody, Ian; Watkins, Marc; Bell, Ray; Soman, Matthew; Keelan, Jonathan and Holland, Andrew
e2v Technologies

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