Advanced femtosecond laser technology for particle detector characterisation and processing

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy


The proposed programme of work will advance the femto-second laser process to

(a) Develop a versatile detector characterisation instrument based on multi-photon absorption with micron resolution.
(b) Develop direct laser writing for graphitic electrodes in diamond.

The goals are to provide a low cost high precision characterisation method for detector developments and to establish 3D diamond detectors as a mature detector technology enabling particle detectors with unprecedented radiation hardness. Identified key projects benefiting from this technology development are e.g. in the area of Particle Physics for experiments at the energy frontier, and for diagnostic devices in the area of radiation therapy for cancer treatment.

Planned Impact

The impact of this project can be summarised in the following categories:

1. Specific benefits for future STFC projects
The project is aimed at developing detector technology for two principle STFC project areas - particle physics at the energy frontier, and medical physics. These are important parts of the future STFC programme with potential for high impact.
The use of ultra-radiation hard detectors in particle physics could enable new designs of vertex detectors with direct consequences to the new physics discovery potential, addressing fundamental questions about the universe and the structure of matter.
In the medical field the same technology can greatly improve the accuracy of dosimetry determination in oncology and help to reduce the risks associated to radiation therapy. The biocompatibility and tissue equivalence of diamond, together with the fast response time make 3D diamond an excellent candidate for real-time in vivo dosimetry. The lack of in vivo dosimetry is of huge concern for the roll out of hadron therapy, which is based on highly, targeted intense beams. Currently no dose delivery in patient coordinates is available, but to certain of correct delivery, such information is vital.
Finally, the development of the multi-photon absorption technique for detector characterisation will equip the detector physics community in the UK with a powerful cost-effective table-top characterisation facility, providing high resolution data at a fraction of the cost compared to traditional testbeam facilities.

2. Scientific impact
The project results will be presented at international conferences on detectors (IEEE), laser processing (Photon) and diamond applications (DCM), and we aim to publish in peer-reviewed high impact journals to reach the scientific communities.
Additionally, preliminary results from study of sensors soon after the data and analysis results become available will be disseminated via pre-print services such as, and via the talks at international workshops and dedicated seminars.

3. Enhancing international collaborations
The project will involve collaborations between universities and research organisations within the UK and internationally. All efforts will be made to strengthen the already existing links to international collaborators and industrial partners and to build new links potential partners. This will be realised by participating in and hosting of collaboration meetings, and organising open meetings, e.g. in the framework of Institute of Physics topical meetings.

Manchester is member of the international CERN RD42 collaboration (diamond detector development for LHC detectors) and the ADAMAS collaboration (Advanced Diamond Assemblies, GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH, Darmstadt), and will be exploring the possibilities to maximise the impact with member institutes interested in 3D diamond technologies to profit from synergies and to pool resources. Several institutes and also companies have expressed their interest in this technology, and discussions are on going as to possible collaborative work.

Furthermore, workshops and collaboration meetings held with other University and with participation of industrial partners will provide networking opportunities, helping the students to gain visibility in the field through presentations and discussions, and will enhance their career prospects in this area.


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Haughton I (2021) Barrier potential for laser written graphitic wires in diamond in Diamond and Related Materials

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Lopez Paz I (2019) Study of Electrode Fabrication in Diamond with a Femto-Second Laser in physica status solidi (a)

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Reichmann M (2020) New test beam results of 3D and pad detectors constructed with poly-crystalline CVD diamond in Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment

Description We discovered that laser processed graphitic wires in diamond substrates exhibit a peculiar behaviour when a voltage is applied. Depending on processing parameters a voltage barrier can be introduced, similar to Zeher diodes, but with a bi-polar characteristic.
Exploitation Route The discovery of barrier potential in laser processed wires will be a important aspect for the future development of devices with 3D diamond technology. We plan to apply for further funding to explore paths to control and improve the resistivity and barrier potential of graphitic wires.
Sectors Electronics,Healthcare

Description Promoted 3D diamond detectors at Proton Beam Therapy research event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Promoted 3D diamond detectors at Proton Beam Therapy research event (Dec 2020) organized by
the Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC) and the FBMH Cancer Research Domain. Gave talk and Q&A session. Engaged in discussions after the event with practitioners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019