Hyperfast Silicon Detector for Direct Particle Detection

Period of Performance: 06/13/2016 - 03/12/2017


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt Street Array
Watertown, MA 02472
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


Advancement in detector technology is continuously ongoing as the needs of high-energy experimental facilities evolve. For example, upgrades are needed at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) as the luminosity, and hence event rate, is increased. Increasing the luminosity will allow the LHC science to move from exploration to precision studies and this requires detector technologies that go beyond what is currently being used. One of the improvements currently being sought are detectors with improved timing resolution for direct particle detection that can process at high event rates. Timing resolution on the order of 10 picoseconds opens the possibility of using time-of-flight techniques to reduce background events and thereby improving the ability to identify particles of interest created by the LHC. Statement of How Problem is Being Addressed: We propose to modify our detector fabrication and packaging steps which will improve the detector timing performance for direct particle detection. With these changes, our APD technology has the potential to become an ideal sensor for direct, ultra-fast particle detection. What will be done in Phase I: During Phase I we will 1) explore modifying our silicon wafer thinning process, which could will improve the timing performance and 2) study using a capacitive signal readout technique that will improve the APD temporal properties and the detector response uniformity. APDs with these two modifications will be evaluated and characterized for their ultra-fast timing performance. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The general application for this detector technology is for direct charged particle detection. A complete instrument, meaning the detector plus signal processing electronics, could be used for human missions, satellites, and space exploration probes needing particle detection. The development of low cost, high gain charge particle detector has a myriad of applications in other science and medical fields. Key Words: Particle detector, time resolution, photodetector, avalanche photodiode, silicon