A report on the characterization, calibration and performances of the MYTHEN photon-counting silicon microstrip detector at the powder diffraction station at the Swiss Light Source is given.
The MYTHEN single-photon-counting silicon microstrip detector has been developed at the Swiss Light Source for time-resolved powder diffraction experiments. An upgraded version of the detector has been installed at the SLS powder diffraction station allowing the acquisition of diffraction patterns over 120° in 2θ in fractions of seconds. Thanks to the outstanding performance of the detector and to the calibration procedures developed, the quality of the data obtained is now comparable with that of traditional high-resolution point detectors in terms of FWHM resolution and peak profile shape, with the additional advantage of fast and simultaneous acquisition of the full diffraction pattern. MYTHEN is therefore optimal for time-resolved or dose-critical measurements. The characteristics of the MYTHEN detector together with the calibration procedures implemented for the optimization of the data are described in detail. The refinements of two known standard powders are discussed together with a remarkable application of MYTHEN to organic compounds in relation to the problem of radiation damage.