Heavy Ion and Proton Irradiation of Gas Electron Multipliers With Liquid Crystal Polymer Insulator: Evaluation Tests for Use in Space
Gas electron multipliers with a liquid crystal polymer insulator (LCP-GEMs) can be employed as X-ray polarimeters in several satellite missions in low-earth orbit. To evaluate their resistance to radiation, LCP-GEMs were exposed to Fe ion and proton beams from the heavy-ion accelerator facility HIMAC, and the gas gain was monitored. The LCP-GEMs survived 14.4-year-equivalent irradiation by fully stripped Fe ions with an energy of 500 MeV nuc^(-1), which simulated galactic cosmic-ray ions. We also studied the degradation of the insulator layer of the LCP-GEMs by irradiation with 160 MeV protons to simulate geomagnetically trapped protons. After irradiation with protons for 31.6 years equivalent, no significant change in gain was observed.