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Development of a 4D silicon detector for applications in nuclear, particle, and medical physics

Project description

Radiation-hard silicon detectors could boost high-energy physics experiments

Low-gain avalanche diodes are a recently developed class of silicon sensors with high time resolution, about 30 ps at room temperature. Owing to their excellent timing capability, they have attracted significant interest in high-energy physics for particle detection and tracking. Funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the PicoPix project aims to improve the radiation hardness of these low-gain avalanche diodes. To this end, researchers will leverage the successful radiation-hard semiconductor devices for very high-luminosity colliders that have been developed in the RD50 collaboration. The project team combines expertise in hadron collider physics and silicon detector characterisation techniques.


The PicoPix project will develop and deliver pixelated and radiation hard Low Gain Avalanche Detectors (LGAD) with sub 30-ps timing resolution for 4D particle tracking in high energy physics and imaging applications. Starting from AC-coupled LGADs, developed in the context of the RD50 collaboration, PicoPix will use novel techniques to redefine the state-of-the-art in LGAD fabrication: a) pixelation, with typical dimension in the order of few tens of μm; b) timing resolution, through thinner detectors; and c) radiation-hardness, through novel designs of the active detection volume. PicoPix will push the boundaries in many fields from fundamental science to industrial applications. The fellow, Dr Reynolds, an expert in hadron collider physics with broad experience in simulations, analysis techniques, and data interpretation, has experience in characterisation of silicon detectors. The supervisors, Dr Tricoli and Prof Nikolopoulos, have significant experience and leadership in detector instrumentation and physics analysis. The former leads the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) Fast-Timing Silicon Sensor Test- ing Laboratory, and the latter played a key-role in the commissioning of the Irradiation Facility at the University of Birmingham (UoB). The hosts, UoB and BNL, have excellent facilities enabling PicoPix, including the BNL Silicon Fabrication Facility and the Birmingham Instrumentation Laboratory for Particle Physics and Applications (BILPA). The secondments and visits, including at Fermilab, DESY, and CERN, and collaboration with other academic fields and industries ensure PicoPix’s success and a unique environment for Dr Reynolds’ development.



Net EU contribution
€ 271 732,80
B15 2TT Birmingham
United Kingdom

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West Midlands (England) West Midlands Birmingham
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Partners (1)