Next generation particle detectors in development

Physics c STFC.

Scientists at the University of Liverpool are leading a consortium to develop new sensors for research facilities including the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

During the two-year project, the scientists will build sensors which incorporate high voltage complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (HV-CMOS) technology to produce cheaper and higher performance monitors which will be used to detect particles.

Sensors are lighter

HV-CMOS is a type of circuit which uses silicon. It is cheaper to manufacture advanced sensors using this method and, as the sensors are lighter and can be operated at room-temperature, expensive cooling is not required. Performance is also improved, which allows researchers working on some of the world’s biggest physics experiments to generate new results.

The consortium of universities also includes Imperial College London and the University of Manchester. Liverpool – the lead university – has already developed silicon sensors for particle detection in the Liverpool Semi-Conductor Centre and two of the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, which were crucial in helping in the discovery of the Higgs particle. The team also has a range of projects focussed on finding applications for technologies outside of pure physics, such as medical applications.

Project lead, Dr Joost Vossebeld, said: “If successful, the sensors we will develop may find application in planned upgrades of the innermost parts of the experiments at the LHC or at the International Linear Collider project, proposed in Japan. We are also very keen to exploit this new technology to drive a wide range of applications beyond our field.”

The project is scheduled to last two years and is worth £450,000. Funding comes from the Science & Technology Facilities Council and the partner institutions.

physics c. STFC

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