The development of high resolution, high speed solid state detectors for the current generation of particle and nuclear physics experiments, such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Laboratory for particle physics (CERN) and the future heavy ion facilities in Germany, has fostered an intensive R&D activity in many Institutes throughout Europe. The wide range of technologies investigated, together with the large size of the detectors, has required the collaboration with several advanced industrial companies. The developments initiated in the frame of particle physics experiments have had very significant spin offs in various areas of life sciences, such as medical imaging, scientific experiments in space, and in the study of material properties.

The main objective of this project is to develop novel methods and technologies to upgrade European research infrastructures with the most advanced experimental tools.

These issues will be addressed with Single Crystal Diamond detectors. Progress has recently been achieved in the production of Single-Crystal Diamond made by Chemical Vapour Deposition (SC_CVDD). The availability of the material at present is low. Although the material to be used for prototyping is supplied from cooperating large industries, NoRHDia involves groups from CVD diamond research with top expertise in the single crystal CVD diamond growth, defect spectroscopy and transport properties measurements.

In order to develop reliable and useful diamond hadron detectors, the following technological steps have to be performed:
  • feasibility study of an enlargement of the detector area (only 5x5 mm at present);
  • study and optimisation of the growth process parameters with respect to crystal lattice perfection, defect density, concentration of residual impurities and to electrical transport properties, such as the charge collection distance, the mobility and the charge carrier lifetime;
  • optimisation of the contact properties, using various metals and surface treatments such as plasma treatment and annealing;
  • optimisation of the thickness of the epitaxial mono-crystalline layers;
  • development of suitable fast, low-noise front-end electronics for spectroscopy and for timing purposes as well;
  • systematic studies of the pulse-shape parameter distributions from SC_CVDD detectors;
  • test of the radiation hardness of SC_CVDD by irradiation with neutrons and all kind of charged particles (electrons, protons, pions and heavy ions) and photons.
  • mono-crystalline DE-diamond detector prototypes of good energy resolution;
  • new fast, charge-sensitive diamond amplifiers with an improved Signal-to-Noise ratio;
  • prototype ToF detector device, suitable for measurements with MIPs; resolution 100 ps and a count rate efficiency in the order of 100%;
  • an improved growth process for this unique detector material SC_CVDD.