Detector Seminar

Silicon Detectors: 60 years of innovations

by Erik Heijne (Czech Technical University (CZ))

222/R-001 (CERN)



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The first demonstration of a semiconductor particle detector in 1944 was followed by intense efforts, exploiting the rapidly evolving materials purification technologies. About 10 years later the first practical silicon devices were used for energy measurement of ionizing nuclear particles. From then on, during 60 years a succession of innovations in materials, geometry, processing technology, system architecture and signal readout electronics has led to widespread use of silicon detectors in experiments, materials analysis and medical imaging. These devices obviously deal with single particles and light quanta, providing an extreme measurement sensitivity, in comparison with classical chemical methods. While successful in nuclear physics, there was little use of silicon detectors in particle physics, with bubble chambers and later the wire chambers stealing the show. Belatedly, thanks to innovations at CERN and by other teams in elementary particle physics worldwide, the segmented silicon pixel and micro-strip detectors now made their comeback in the LHC, allowing 40 million frames per second to be recorded, 7 orders of magnitude more than in the ~1975 bubble chambers. The SiO2-based micro- and nano-electronics technology has been the basis for much of our developments. In return, it is worth noting that nano-electronics would not exist without the precision accelerators used for implantations of various species of ions into the silicon crystal. Finally, development opportunities are discussed for future physics applications.
Organized by

Alessandro Marchioro (EP/ESE) and Burkhard Schmidt (EP/DT)

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EP Detector Seminar
Dominik Dannheim
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