Research and development of new detectors


CP3 - Research directions and experiments
CP3 interest in the field of development of new detectors is twofold: On one side to fulfill the commitments that our group have with present experiments, including major foreseen upgrades. On the other side in the development of new measurement techniques that will be used in future experiments.
Members of CP3 are involved in the development of three fields/technologies:

  • A) Semiconductor detectors, mainly for tracking devices. Activities in this area covers mainly the system integration issues in CMS upgrade forward tracker and NA62 GTK spectrometer. Using UCL cyclotrons, radiation effects to both semiconductor sensors and their associated electronics can be studied. These irradiations are part of the European program AIDA. to irradiate sensors and their associated electronics. Finally, the development on new monolithic pixel detectors with SOI technology. This technology is one of the candidates for tracking devices in future linear colliders.

  • B) Utrafast timing techniques of the order of 10 ps. Research is focused in the synchronization of detector systems that can be separated by hundreds of meters, as is the case on forward detectors in colliders. These techniques could be used also in other applications as Life Sciences and Atomic Physics.

  • C) Development of high granularity hadronic calorimeter based on RPCs. These calorimeters will play an essential role in the particle flow method that most likely will be the paradigm in the new generation of particle physics experiments. These detectors also find application in the study of the interior of large geological structures, for example active volcanoes, via the absorption of cosmic rays.

    Collaboration and Networks:

    UCL-CP3 participates actively in various collaborations in the field of particle detector development:

    • CALICE: Calorimetry for ILC.
    • SOIPIX: Monolithic pixel sensor development in SOI technology.
    • AIDA2020: European project grouping the principal actors in detector development in Europe.


Click the title to show project description.
  • Development of simulation tools at device level for semiconductor sensors. We are interested both in the simulation of static characteristics as for instance coupling capacitances, electric fields, etc, but also dynamic characteristics as signal developed in different sensors when particles are passing through.

    Tools used to made this simulations are based in comercial software as TCAD or Silvaco and programs developed by ourselves. This work profits from the close collaboration with DICE (FSA/UCL).

  • GasToF (Gas Time-of-Flight) detector is a Cherenkov detector developed for very precise (with <10 ps resolution) flight time measurements of very forward protons at the LHC. Such an excellent time resolution allows, using z-by-timing technique, for precise measurements of the event vertex z-coordinate and the background reduction. Such a detector is essential for selecting exclusive and semi-exclusive processes at high luminosity, and can also be applied for the timing and particle ID at future experiments.

    Investigate new techniques for ToF-PET.

  • The general goal of this project is to develop muon-based radiography or tomography (“muography”), an innovative multidisciplinary approach to study large-scale natural or man-made structures, establishing a strong synergy between particle physics and other disciplines, such as geology and archaeology.
    Muography is an imaging technique that relies on the measurement of the absorption of muons produced by the interactions of cosmic rays with the atmosphere.
    Applications span from geophysics (the study of the interior of mountains and the remote quasi-online monitoring of active volcanoes) to archaeology and mining.

    We are part of the EU-funded H2020 network INTENSE where we coordinate the Muography work package, which brings together particle physicists, geophysicists, archaeologists, civil engineers and private companies for the development and exploitation of this imaging method.

    We are using the local facilities at CP3 for the development of high-resolution portable detectors.
    We also participate to the MURAVES collaboration, now merged into the MIVAS collaboration, through algorithmic and data-analysis aspects like the implementation of time-of-flight capabilities, the analysis of control data for the optimization of the reconstruction algorithms, and the understanding of physics and instrumental backgrounds by data-driven and simulation techniques.

  • LARA: LAser for Radiation Analysis

    LARA is a general purpose laser testbench devoted to study the radiation susceptibility of semiconductor devices.
    The systems consists in a high precission step motors (~0.1 um), a 1060 nm pulsed laser (PiLAS) with associated optics to obtain beam spots f ~5-6 um, and a set of photodetectors to measure both integrated and pulse-by-pulse optical power.

    LARA will have two main applications:
    1. Test of semiconductor sensors (pixel, microstrips, etc).
    2. Study of single event effects (SEE) in semiconductor components.

    A set of standard measurement equipment will be available to perform measurements for both type of applications.

  • Metrology and instrumentation of CYCLONE-110 T2 irradiation line to test semiconductor sensors and electronics under neutron fluences (max <latex>$10^{16}$</latex> neq/cm2).

  • On Feb 1, 2020 the R&D EU Interreg project E-TEST officially started. It involves 11 institutes from Belgium, Germany and Netherlands and will carry on crucial detector developments for the Einstein Telescope (ET) - a 3rd generation antenna of gravitational waves, related mostly to cryogenic operations of large mass mirrors and their suspensions, ultra-precise metrology and sensing, as well as to advanced geological studies in the region (the ET is a deep-underground detector). The CP3 group is a partner in this project and is working on developments of the control electronics for test setups.

  • A key element of future experiments with linear colliders (ILC, CLIC), will be the ability to exploit the particle flow algorithms. They are based on the possibility to follow all the particles produced by e+e- collisions in the various sub-detectors to measure the energy.

    Thus, the calorimeters, which until now were used to measure the particle energy will be required to have a tracking capability. In this perspective, we participate with other European and Belgian groups in the development and the construction of a hadron calorimeter with a large granularity as with short-term goal to build a 1m3 prototype.

    The calorimeter is based on GRPC detectors used as sensitive medium. Then we participate in data analysis and in test beam particles at CERN. This project will also study the hadronic showers and compare the results
    obtained with phenomenological models. The outcome of this comparison should significantly improve our understanding of this phenomenon.

  • Development of the "phase II" upgrade for the CMS silicon strip stracker.

    More precisely, we are involved in the development of the uTCA-based DAQ system and in the test/validation of the first prototype modules. We take active part to the various test-beam campaigns (CERN, DESY, ...)

    This activity will potentially make use of the cyclotron of UCL, the probe stations and the SYCOC setup (SYstem de mesure de COllection de Charge) to test the response to laser light, radioactive sources and beams.

    The final goal is to take a leading role in the construction of part of the CMS Phase-II tracker.

  • The TRAPPISTe series of sensors tries to use SOI technology to build a monolithic pixel sensor. SOI wafers consist of a thin top silicon active layer, a middle insulating buried oxide layer and a thick handle wafer. Due to the insulating layer, SOI technology allows for more compact layout and lower parasitics compared to traditional bulk CMOS processes.

    The TRAPPISTe-1 sensor was designed and fabricated at UCL’s WINFAB facility at the Ecole Polytechnique de Louvain. WINFAB provides a 2m Fully Depleted SOI process with the following characteristics:

    • 100nm top active layer, 400nm buried oxide layer, 450um handle wafer
    • substrate: 15-25 Ωcm, p-type
    • four types of transistors with different threshold voltages: low Vt, standard Vt, high Vt, graded.

    The first fabrication of the TRAPPISTe-1 chip was delivered in January 2010. Unfortunately, the process was complicated by a contamination resulting in a voltage shift of all the transistors. A second run of the TRAPPISTe-1 chip is currently being produced.

    The TRAPPISTe-2 project has just begun with the SOIPIX collaboration and will use OKI Semiconductor 0.2um technology to build a pixel sensor and test structures. The OKI technology provides the following:

    • active layer thickness 50nm, BOX thickness 200nm, handle wafer thickness 250-350um
    • substrate resistivity of 700 Ωcm, n-type
    • 4 metal layers
    • buried p-well (BPW) to suppress back gate effect

    TRAPPISTe-2 chips have been delivered by OKI in the beginning of 2011. To test the TRAPPISTe chip, a readout board and a laser test station are being developed. The readout board consists of a daughter board and main board. The daughter board is a small board used for mounting and bonding the TRAPPISTe chip. Several daughter boards have been designed to accommodate the TRAPPISTe-1 and TRAPPISTe-2 chips. The daughter boards plug into the main board which contains DACs to set the appropriate bias voltages and an ADC controlled by an FPGA to read the detector output. A laser test station is being commissioned to test the charge collection of the device.

    The TRAPPISTe project has been presented at the following conferences:
    - iWoRiD 2009
    - IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium 2009
    - Vienna Conference on Instrumentation 2010

    TRAPPISTe group has also joined the SOIPIX collaboration and was presented at the SOIPIX Collaboration Meeting 2010. SOIPIX is an international research collaboration developing detector applications in SOI technology. More information on the TRAPPISTe project can be found at:

Recent Publications

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  • Martin Delcourt for the CMS collaboration., July 2, 2020
    Refereed paper. [Journal] [Full text]

  • CMS Tracker Collaboration, July 2, 2020
    Refereed paper. [Journal] [Full text]

  • CMS Tracker Group, July 2, 2020
    Refereed paper. [Journal] [Full text]

  • S. Basnet, E. Cortina Gil, P. Demin, R.M.I.D. Gamage, A. Giammanco, M. Moussawi, M. Tytgat, S. Wuyckens, May 21, 2020
    Contribution to proceedings. [Abstract] [PDF]

  • Bonechi, Lorenzo and D'Alessandro, Raffaello and Giammanco, Andrea, June 11, 2019
    Refereed paper. [Abstract] [PDF] [Journal] [Dial]

  • Alpigiani, Cristiano and others, July 24, 2018
    Refereed paper. [Abstract] [PDF] [Full text]

  • Wuyckens, Sophie and Giammanco, Andrea and Demin, Pavel and Cortina Gil, Eduardo, June 18, 2018
    Refereed paper. Contribution to proceedings. [Abstract] [PDF] [Journal] [Dial]

  • CMS collaboration, December 13, 2017
    Refereed paper. [Full text]

  • Cortina Gil, Eduardo and Soung-Yee, Lawrence, August 24, 2015
    Refereed paper. Contribution to proceedings. [Full text]

  • Baulieu, G. and Bedjidian, M. and Belkadhi, K. and Berenguer, J. and Boudry, V. and others, June 18, 2015
    Refereed paper. [Abstract] [PDF] [Journal] [Dial]

  • Sameh Mannai, K. Manai, Y. Haddad and Eduardo Cortina Gil, January 29, 2014
    Contribution to proceedings. [Journal] [Dial] [Full text]

  • The CALICE collaboration, Eduardo Cortina Gil and Sameh Mannai, January 29, 2014
    Refereed paper. [Abstract] [PDF] [Journal] [Dial] [Full text]

  • L. Soung Yee, E. Martin, E. Cortina, C. Renaux, D. Flandre, December 5, 2011
    Contribution to proceedings. [Journal] [Full text]

  • E. Martin, L. Soung Yee, E. Cortina, C. Renaux, D. Flandre, July 8, 2011
    Contribution to proceedings. [Journal] [Full text]

  • Salgado, C. A. and others, May 25, 2011
    Refereed paper. [Abstract] [PDF] [Journal] [Dial]

  • Bedjidian, M. and others, March 14, 2011
    Refereed paper. [Abstract] [PDF] [Journal] [Dial]

  • T. Bergauer, et al., December 22, 2008
    Public experimental note. [Full text]

  • J. de Favereau, X. Rouby, K. Piotrzkowski, May 14, 2007
    Refereed paper. [Abstract] [PDF] [Journal] [Dial] [Full text]

  • X. Rouby for the RD39 Collaboration, March 19, 2007
    Contribution to proceedings. [Journal] [Full text]

  • L. Bonnet, T. Pierzchala, K. Piotrzkowski, P. Rodeghiero, December 8, 2006
    Contribution to proceedings. [Abstract] [PDF]

  • X. Rouby, V. Eremin, S. Grohmann, J. Härkönen, Z. Li, P. Luukka, O. Militaru, T. Niinikoski, G.Nüssle, B. Perea Solano, K. Piotrzkowski, E. Tuovinen, E. Verbitskaya, October 23, 2006
    Contribution to proceedings. [Journal] [Full text]