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Ionizing Radiation Detectors

  • Ionizing Radiation Detectors Activity

Involved researchers

Building on a 20-year long experience in the field, we design, simulate and fabricate in house custom silicon detectors for different needs, ranging from scientific research to industrial products. The production exploits the benefits of the recently upgraded 6", detector-grade clean room available at FBK and operated by MTLab and a long-term expertise on specific detector technologies in high-energy physics applications.

Some of the available detector technologies, under continuous improvements, are the following:

  • Microstrip Detectors are large-area detectors used for the detection of ionizing radiation with charge and position sensitivity. The most simple example is composed of a common cathode on the backside and of many parallel anodes on the topside, each one connected to a separate readout channel and providing 1D position sensitivity. 2D position sensing can be obtained by segmenting also the backside, along a direction orthogonal to the one used for the topside. In this way, the number of channels required by the 2D position-sensitive detector grows proportionally to the linear dimensions of the detector and not to the active area.
  • Silicon Drift Detectors (SDD) are part of a relatively recent development characterized by a very low electronic noise. The SDD is based on a thick (>300 um), high resistivity, silicon substrate, which is fully depleted at the operating voltage, in order to maximize the detection efficiency of "hard" X-rays. The SDD is currently used for X-ray spectroscopy and in Gamma-ray spectroscopy, for the readout of the scintillation light, especially when large photo-sensitive areas need to be readout by a solid state detector.
  • Active Edge Detectors: the edge of the dies is etched with DRIE during the fabrication process and doped with the proper dopant. In this way, we can remove the guard rings around the active area of the detector which are not sensitive to the radiation and, in fully-depelted, thick wafers can consume several hundreds of microns. In this way, we can reduce the dead areas of the detector and the material budget, which is important, for example, in High-Energy Physics applications.
  • 3D Detectors: the anode and the cathode are formed by vertical columns, dug inside the wafer, as opposed to the planar technology which is used for the majority of radiation detectors, in which anode and catode are palced at the opposite sides of the wafer. A single 3D detector is composed of a high number anodes and cathodes, connected in parallel and formed by the vertical columns. This technology is employed with a thich detectors for reducing the effects of the radiation damage and, in particular, for reducing the reverse operating voltage of the detector after irradiation.

In addition, we can provide custom study and development of application-tailored detectors. We can simulate, design and fabricate a broad range of silicon detectors with custom layouts, based on proven and reliable detector technologies, available at FBK:

  • Microstrips.
  • Pixel detectors.
  • PAD detectors.
Application cases: 
Very large area, double-sided microstrips detectors for vertex detectors in High Energy Physics and satellite experiments. Single-sided microstrip detectors for X-ray spectroscopy and diffraction applications. State-of-the-art X-ray spectroscopy Gamma-ray spectroscopy for the readout of the scintillation light