We present a concept for a calorimeter based on a novel approach of 3D position-sensitive virtual Frisch-grid CZT detectors. This calorimeter aims to measure photons with energies from ~100 keV to 10 (goal 50) MeV. The expected energy resolution at 662 keV is ~1% FWHM, and the photon interaction position-measurement accuracy is ~1 mm in all 3 dimensions.
Each CZT bar is a rectangular prism with typical cross-section of 6x6 mm2 and length of 2-4 cm. The bars are arranged in modules of 4 x 4 bars, and the modules themselves can be assembled into a larger array. The 3D virtual voxel approach solves a long-standing problem with CZT detectors associated with material imperfections that limit the performance and usefulness of relatively thick detectors (i.e., > 1 cm). Also, it allows us to relax the requirements on the quality of the crystals, maintaining good energy resolution and significantly reducing the instrument cost.
Such a calorimeter can be successfully used in space telescopes that use Compton scattering of γ rays, such as AMEGO, serving as part of its calorimeter and providing the position and energy measurement for Compton-scattered photons. Also, it could provide suitable energy resolution to allow for spectroscopic measurements of γ-ray lines from nuclear decays. Another viable option is to use this calorimeter as a focal plane to conduct spectroscopic measurements of cosmic γ-ray events. In combination with a coded-aperture mask, it potentially could provide mapping of the 511-keV radiation from the Galactic Center region.