Course on semiconductor radiation detectors

Facultat de Física

Facultat de Física

Martí i Franqués, 1 08028 Barcelona


The Barcelona Techno Weeks are a series of events that focus on a specific technological topic of interest for both academia and industry. These events include keynote presentations by world experts, networking activities, and a comprehensive course on solid state radiation detection. CERN and ICCUB organized three editions of the Techno Week in the past, which focused on semiconductor radiation detectors in 2016, 2018, and 2021.

Course on semiconductor detectors

The core of the 7th Techno Week is a comprehensive in-person course on solid state radiation detection, which covers topics such as the physics of interaction of radiation with matter, signal formation in detectors, different solid state radiation and photon detection technologies, detector analog and digital pulse processing readout circuits, detector packaging and advanced interconnect technologies and the use of radiation and photon detectors in scientific and industrial applications. The event also includes a participant poster session, presentations from industry professionals and a series of laboratories and social events.


The next edition will take place from the 3rd to the 7th July 2023 and it will be in-person. The course is divided into four sections: Sensors and Interconnects, Microelectronics, Detector Technologies, and Applications.


  1. Explain fundamentals of interaction of radiation with matter and signal formation.
  2. Understand different solid state radiation and photon detection technologies (including monolithic sensors, CMOS imagers, SPAD sensors, etc).
  3. Review detector analog and digital pulse processing readout circuits (with emphasis in microelectronics and ASIC design).
  4. Provide an insight of packaging and advanced interconnect technologies (hybrid sensors, 3D integration, etc).
  5. Survey the use of radiation and photon detectors in industrial applications.
  6. Present new trends in radiation and photon detection.

In addition to the lectures from experts, the event includes a participant poster session and presentations from industry professionals combined with a series of laboratories and social events. 


Who it is aimed at

The event is aimed at researchers, postdocs, PhD students, and industry professionals working in fields such as particle detectors, astronomy, space, medical imaging, scientific instrumentation, material analysis, neutron imaging, process monitoring and control. It offers a good opportunity for young researchers to meet with senior experts from academia and industry.



Rafael Ballabriga (CERN)

Massimo Caccia (U. Degli Studi Dell'Insubria)

Michael Campbell (CERN)

Edoardo Charbon (EPFL)

Perceval Coudrain (CEA)

David Gascón (ICCUB)

Alberto Gola (FBK)

Daniel Hynds (U. Oxford)

Frank Koppens (ICFO) 

Angelo Rivetti (INFN)

Ángel Rodríguez Vázquez (US)

Dennis Schaart (TU Delft)

Francesc Serra-Graells (IMB-CNM/CSIC)

Renato Turchetta (IMASENIC)


Organization Team 

Joan Mauricio (ICCUB)

Sergio Gómez (Serra Hunter - UPC)

Eduardo Picatoste (ICCUB)

Andreu Sanuy (ICCUB)

Rafael Ballabriga (CERN)

David Gascón (ICCUB)

Daniel Guberman (ICCUB)

Esther Pallarés (ICCUB)

Anna Argudo (ICCUB)



ICCUB industrial collaborations in microelectronics and related technologies

There’s a strong industrial participation in the Barcelona Technoweek. Companies participate giving lectures and talks in industrial sessions, in the industrial exhibition and as sponsors. The industrial participants in this edition will be: Zeelta, Broadcom, Hamamatsu and IMASENIC.



This event is part of the grant CEX2019-000918-M funded by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033.











    • 8:30 AM 9:00 AM
      Registration 30m
    • 9:00 AM 10:55 AM
      Welcome and introduction: Welcome and Introduction (I)
      • 9:00 AM
        Welcome talk by the Vice-Rector for Research of the University of Barcelona 5m
        Speaker: Prof. Jordi García Fernández (Universitat de Barcelona)
      • 9:05 AM
        Introduction to the Insitute of Cosmos Sciences of the University of Barcelona (ICCUB) 10m
        Speaker: Xavier Luri (ICCUB)
      • 9:15 AM
        Tracking and imaging of particles and photons – an introduction 55m
        Speaker: Michael Campbell
      • 10:10 AM
        Introduction to Semiconductors detectors 45m
        Speaker: Daniel Hynds (University of Oxford)
    • 10:55 AM 11:05 AM
      Coffee Break 10m
    • 11:05 AM 12:50 PM
      Welcome and introduction: Welcome and introduction (II)
      • 11:05 AM
        Introduction to Semiconductors detectors 1h 45m
        Speakers: Daniel Hynds (University of Oxford), Rafael Ballabriga (CERN)
    • 12:50 PM 2:20 PM
      Lunch 1h 30m Restaurant de Física

      Restaurant de Física

      You have the lunch coupon on the badget

    • 2:20 PM 4:15 PM
      Introduction to CMOS 1h 55m
      Speaker: Francesc Serra-Graells (IMB-CNM (CSIC))
    • 4:15 PM 4:35 PM
      Coffee Break 20m
    • 4:35 PM 6:00 PM
      Charge transport properties in perovskites X-ray detectors working at 0V external bias 1h 25m

      Metal halide perovskite (MHP) is a promising candidate material for the next-generation X-ray detector, particularly due to the excellent charge transport properties.
      However, a mobility-lifetime product of electrons and holes as well as detector stability are compromised by high ionic conductivity under an external electrical field.
      To resolve this issue, we explore charge transport properties of the methylammonium lead iodide (CH3NH3PbI3) single crystals, and we show while operating photovoltaic mode (under 0V bias) devices exhibit simultaneously near to unity charge collection efficiency and high x-ray attenuation efficiency for a few hundred µm thick crystals.

    • 4:35 PM 6:00 PM
      Perovskite solution-grown crystals directly integrated to readout interface for high spatial resolution X-ray imaging 1h 25m

      Hybrid lead halide perovskites are a promising candidate for a new generation of highly sensitive direct-converting detectors for medical X-ray imaging. While the usage of existing semiconductor materials such as CdTe and Si is complicated by fabrication processes and their costs, highly-crystalline hybrid lead halide perovskite active layers can be deposited on read-out array backplanes directly by solution growth. Here we present thick and uniform methylammonium lead iodide single-crystal films, solution-grown directly on hole-transporting electrode arrays. Electrodes are created on a glass substrate with patterned Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) layer, providing direct integration with the interface of external read-out electronics. Accordingly, stable MAPbI3 X-ray detectors have been made with obtained 88% detection efficiency and 90 pGyair noise equivalent dose under 18 keV X-rays in photovoltaic mode, demonstrating high spatial resolution up to 11 lp mm-1.

    • 4:35 PM 6:00 PM
      Stable perovskite single-crystal X-ray imaging detectors with single-photon sensitivity 1h 25m

      A major thrust of medical X-ray imaging is to minimize the X-ray dose acquired by the patient, down to single-photon sensitivity. Such characteristics have been demonstrated with only a few direct-detection semiconductor materials such as CdTe and Si; nonetheless, their industrial deployment in medical diagnostics is still impeded by elaborate and costly fabrication processes. Hybrid lead halide perovskites can be a viable alternative owing to their facile solution growth. However, hybrid perovskites are unstable under high-field biasing in X-ray detectors, owing to structural lability and mixed electronic–ionic conductivity. Here we show that both single-photon-counting and long-term stable performance of perovskite X-ray detectors are attained in the photovoltaic mode of operation at zero-voltage bias, employing thick and uniform methylammonium lead iodide single-crystal films (up to 300 µm) and solution directly grown on hole-transporting electrodes. The operational device stability exceeded one year. Detection efficiency of 88% and noise-equivalent dose of 90 pGyair are obtained with 18 keV X-rays, allowing single-photon-sensitive, low-dose and energy-resolved X-ray imaging.

    • 9:00 AM 10:45 AM
      Hybrid pixels and FE electronics 1h 45m
      Speaker: Rafael Ballabriga (CERN)
    • 10:45 AM 11:05 AM
      Coffee Break 20m
    • 11:05 AM 12:50 PM
      Sensor integration and packaging 1h 45m
      Speaker: Perceval Coudrain (CEA-Leti)
    • 12:50 PM 2:20 PM
      Lunch 1h 30m
    • 2:20 PM 4:15 PM
      Signal conditioning, digitization and Time pick-off 1h 55m
      Speaker: Angelo Rivetti (INFN)
    • 4:15 PM 4:35 PM
      Coffee Break 20m
    • 4:35 PM 6:00 PM
      100uPet project 1h 25m

      Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a powerful imaging technique used in various fields, including medical research and diagnosis. One of the key aspects of PET is achieving ultra-high resolution, which greatly enhances the accuracy and precision of molecular imaging. The 100 µPET project, born by the synergy between the University of Geneva, the University of Luzern, and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, is a novel approach that aims to advance the development of a small-animal PET scanner with ultra-high-resolution molecular imaging capabilities. This is accomplished by employing a compact, modular stack composed of 60 layers of monolithic pixel detectors and flexible printed circuits (FPC) arranged in 4 towers that will surround the tissue to analyze, resulting in unprecedented scanner depth-of-interaction and volumetric granularity.
      This design is particularly challenging concerning developing the module-flex hosting the monolithic sensors. Experimental investigations were conducted to evaluate the electrical performance and reliability of different flip-chip bonding between monolithic sensors and FPC using Non Conductive Paste (NCP), together with the use of dummy chip designed to emulate the interface of the actual sensor, which is currently being designed. This poster presents an overview of the project with a focus on the flip-chip feasibility studies.

    • 4:35 PM 6:00 PM
      Terzina on-board of the NUSES satellite: a pathfinder for EAS Cherenkov light detection from space 1h 25m

      Ultra High Energy Cosmic Rays (UHECRs) above 100 PeV could be detected from space by pointing to the Earth's limb when the optical emission from extensive air showers (EAS) is produced. A space-born experiment could also play a key role in the multi-messenger field if the detection of Earth-skimming neutrinos will be ensured. The validation process for this detection of rare UHE events goes through precursors such as the NUSES space mission, designed to be operated in a Sunsynchronous, quasi-polar, low Earth orbit. On board the satellite platform, developed by TAS-I, two payloads will be equipped: Terzina, mainly discussed in this contribution, and ZIRE', devoted to low energy cosmic and gamma rays, space weather, and magnetosphere-ionosphere-lithosphere coupling. The Terzina telescope aims to detect UHECRs through the Cherenkov light emission from EAS that they create in the Earth's atmosphere. The Cherenkov photons are aligned along the shower axis inside about ∼ 0.2 − 1 ∘ . In this contribution, we focus on describing the telescope detection goals, geometry, optical and electronics design and its photon detection camera composed of Silicon Photo-Multipliers. Moreover, we describe the full Monte Carlo simulation developed to estimate Terzina's performance for UHECR detection. Terzina will be able to study the potential for future physics missions (e.g. POEMMA) devoted to UHECR detection and to UHE neutrino astronomy.

    • 4:35 PM 6:00 PM
      Toward sub-100 ps ToF-PET systems employing the FastIC ASIC with analog SiPMs 1h 25m

      Pushing the limits of the readout system in standard ToF-PET scanners will improve tomographic image reconstruction quality. Scintillation crystals optically coupled to photo-detectors, together with fast readout electronics, are the key elements to improve Coincidence Time Resolution (CTR). The 8-channel FastIC ASIC is capable of processing fast signals with a precise time stamp and a linear energy measurement with ≈ 12 mW power consumption per channel.
      This work provides a complete analysis of the performance of the FastIC ASIC coupled to different scintillators and photo-detectors from different manufacturers, giving special attention to FBK sensors.

    • 9:00 AM 10:45 AM
      CMOS Image Sensors 1h 45m
      Speaker: Renato Turchetta (imasenic)
    • 10:45 AM 11:05 AM
      Coffee Break 20m
    • 11:05 AM 12:50 PM
      SPAD + Cryogenic 1h 45m
      Speaker: Edoardo Charbon (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)
    • 12:50 PM 2:20 PM
      Lunch 1h 30m
    • 2:20 PM 4:15 PM
      SiPMs 1h 55m
      Speaker: Alberto Gola (Fondazione Bruno Kessler)
    • 4:15 PM 4:35 PM
      Coffee Break 20m
    • 4:35 PM 5:30 PM
      A 60 µW front-end for 10 ps resolution monolithic pixel sensors in a 130nm SiGe BiCMOS process 55m

      This paper introduces a monolithic sensor for detecting ionizing radiation, integrated in a fast and low noise SiGe Bi-CMOS process. The front-end is designed for enhanced timing and low power consumption. The aim is to achieve sub-10 picosecond timing resolution, a significant improvement over the previous prototype, which demonstrated a time resolution of 20 ps. This prototype has been developed in the framework of the MONOLITH H2020 ERC project.

    • 4:35 PM 5:30 PM
      A Scalable Frame-Based Readout Architecture for Monolithic Pixel Detectors with Local ADC and Time Digitization 55m

      We proposes a novel readout architecture for monolithic pixel sensors for photon and particle detection, capable of handling event rates on the order of tens of kilohertz, while maintaining accurate timing resolution and energy deposition measurements. Our solution involves a scalable and versatile architecture with a local ADC integrated outside the pixels, but within the active-matrix area. Pixels are organized in a macro block, "super-pixel", that acts as a standalone data processing unit, and sends data on a serial bus at 200 MHz. The integration of multiple super-pixels in parallel optimizes readout time for larger matrices, thanks to a distributed digital logic and local charge measurement. This architecture has been applied to the development of the ASIC in a 130 nm SiGe BiCMOS technology for the FASER pre-shower detector at CERN, proving this concept on silicon.

    • 4:35 PM 5:30 PM
      Innovative 3D coded mask for wide-field gamma imaging 55m

      Visualization of radioactive hotspots is essential in various fields of physics, ranging from the nuclear industry to high-energy astrophysics. One common technique for radioactivity visualization is coded aperture imaging. It involves using a position-sensitive detector accompanied by a coded aperture mask that is used to modulate the incoming radioactive photon flux. However, an acknowledged issue of this method is the limited field of view of cameras that use coded apertures. Therefore, we aim to design and manufacture innovative coded masks with 3D geometries that permit a wide field of view of up to 2π steradian and an angular resolution of less than a degree. To achieve this, we evaluated the 3D coded mask with Timepix3 and Caliste-HD photon detectors and enhanced standard reconstruction algorithms to operate with complex mask geometries.

    • 4:35 PM 5:30 PM
      Prediction of Dark Count Rate (DCR) Degradation in Neutron-Irradiated Single Photon Avalanche Diodes 55m

      Experimental data has confirmed that the performance of Single Photon Avalanche Diodes (SPADs) can strongly degrade due to radiation, particularly in terms of Dark Count Rate (DCR).

      The objective of this study is to anticipate the DCR increase in CMOS SPADs after irradiation. The study is carried out on two SPAD arrays (called A1 and A3), fabricated in a 150 nm technology and subjected to neutron irradiation at increasing fluences, up to 4.2×10^10 1 MeV neutron equivalent 〖𝑐𝑚〗^(−2).

    • 6:30 PM 7:30 PM
      Barcelona Historic Tour 1h Plaça Nova

      Plaça Nova

    • 8:00 PM 11:00 PM
      Social Dinner 3h Pelai Restaurant

      Pelai Restaurant

      Pelai Restaurant (62, Tallers street, Barcelona)
    • 9:00 AM 10:45 AM
      Embedded in-sensor intelligence for analog-to-information 1h 45m
      Speaker: Ángel Rodríguez-Vázquez (Universidad de Sevilla)
    • 10:45 AM 11:05 AM
      Coffee Break 20m
    • 11:05 AM 12:00 PM
      Graphene 55m
      Speaker: Frank Koppens (ICFO)
    • 12:00 PM 12:25 PM
      LGAD detectors: present status and future perspectives 25m
      Speaker: Giulio Pellegrini (CNM-CSIC)
    • 12:25 PM 12:50 PM
      PET technology, from the laboratory to the clinic 25m

      Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging constitutes the molecular imaging technique of excellence and is used to evaluate a radio-tracer uptake by an organ. To obtain PET images, patients are injected with radioisotopes that decay inside the patient body emitting a positron that subsequently annihilates with a core electron of the patient body, emitting two opposite 511 keV gamma-rays. PET detectors are optimized for the specific energy of 511 keV and their operation principle is based on opposed detectors measuring in coincidences these two emitted gamma-rays.

      After the image reconstruction processes a tomographic emission image is generated. To provide high quality images, in addition to the reconstruction process, PET detectors have to be carefully designed and optimized. Key elements are the scintillation block, the photosensor and the readout electronics.
      In this talk, the design, optimization, and implementation of these components is reviewed, starting at the laboratory level, overviewing the PET scanner assembly, and finishing with their translation into the clinics.
      Speaker: Andrea González (i3M)
    • 12:50 PM 2:20 PM
      Lunch 1h 30m
    • 2:20 PM 2:45 PM
      NUV-MT – A new generation of blue sensitive SiPMs: Performance, Products and Roadmap 25m

      The recently released blue sensitive NUV-MT Silicon Photomultiplier (SiPM) range by Broadcom Inc. is setting new standards by combining excellent sensitivity, noise, timing performance and uniformity. In this presentation we will present details of the new NUV-MT technology,

      including market leading Photon Detection Efficiency (63% at 420nm), Dark Count Rate (120kcps/mm2), Cross Talk (23%), After Pulsing (1%) and excellent results

      of the uniformity of breakdown voltage per design and Coincidence Resolution Timing (CRT) measurements using LYSO scintillators.

      Furthermore, all NUV-MT products come in a newly developed, simple, reliable and robust sensor package. We will show data on the optical transmittance down to UV-wavelengths, resulting in a PDE of > 20% at 260nm, relevant for, e.g., timing critical Cherenkov applications. Finally, an overview of the product-portfolio and an outlook of Broadcom’s SiPM-roadmap and upcoming product-releases will be shown.

      Target applications are: TOF-PET, Cherenkov-PET, radiation spectroscopy, photon-counting X-ray detection, flow cytometry and time-gated fluorescence applications.

      Speaker: John Murphy (Broadcom)
    • 2:45 PM 3:10 PM
      TOP (HR:GaAs:Cr) sensors for spectral photon counting X-ray detectors 25m
      Speaker: Vadim Veshchezerov (Zeelta)
    • 3:15 PM 3:40 PM
      Custom CMOS image sensors and ROIC design for visible and beyond 25m

      The field of CMOS image sensors has seen a sustained growth in the last 30 years. This is expected to continue in the foreseable future, with new applications and technologies coming to the market every year. IMASENIC's mission is to develop advanced custom image sensors and imaging systems to help our customers differentiate and achieve leading market positions. This presentation will give an overview of the image sensor market and of IMASENIC's unique value proposition. Several examples of the most recent products and technology developments done by IMASENIC will be detailed.

      Speaker: Adrià Bofill Petit (IMASENIC)
    • 3:40 PM 4:05 PM
      Accelerating Innovation - Knowledge Transfer: from CERN to Society 25m
      Speaker: Rita Pinho (CERN)
    • 4:15 PM 4:35 PM
      Coffee Break 20m
    • 4:35 PM 6:00 PM
      Charge Sensitive Amplifiers with Bi- and Trilinear Signal Compression Feature for LGAD Detectors 1h 25m

      This work is concerned with the design of Charge Sensitive Amplifiers (CSAs) featuring dynamic signal compression. Two different CSA variants have been developed to reach low-noise performance while dealing with signals covering more than three decades in dynamic range. The CSAs have been designed in a 65 nm CMOS technology as part of the front-end circuit for the readout of Low Gain Avalanche Diodes (LGADs) based particle detectors for the next generation of space-borne experiments.

    • 4:35 PM 6:00 PM
      Local ground variations on the RD53B-ATLAS chip 1h 25m

      The RD53B chip is a dedicated chip designed in two
      versions to meet the demands of the ATLAS and CMS
      detector at the High Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC). This
      requires an advanced Front End (FE) circuit able to handle
      the increased data rates and radiation levels. This poster
      presents studies on the RD53B-ATLAS chip performed with
      analog injections to probe the local ground variations.
      Results show voltage variations up to 16 mV across the
      pixel matrix due to the ground rail design.

    • 4:35 PM 6:00 PM
      Model and analysis of the future ALICE ITS3 wafer-scale on-chip readout architecture 1h 25m

      The ALICE collaboration is developing the Inner Tracker System 3 (ITS3), a novel detector that exploits the novel stitching technique to construct cylindrical single-die monolithic pixel sensors of up to 266 mm x 93 mm. ITS3 requires all hits from a particle flux of 4.4 MHz/cm2 to be transmitted on-chip to one of the sensor edges with a readout inefficiency of <0.1 % of hits lost while keeping a power consumption budget of 20 mW/cm2 and a dead area ≤10 %. The objective of this work is to carefully dimension the different components of this on-chip readout architecture adjusting it to the requirements and constraints of the ITS3. To do so, a model of the on-chip architecture was developed using System Verilog. This model provided different readout performances under different parameter configurations, readout architectures, and data inputs. Apart from this, it provided key learnings for the readout architecture implementation such as the correlation between losses and collisions pile-up, or the best ordering for reading the memories. From this model, it was observed that ~3 on-chip data lines/cm2 of ~160 Mbit/s each and ~13 memories/cm2 of ~64 words depth each were sufficient to cope with the requirements.

      Speaker: Manuel Viqueira Rodriguez (CERN)
    • 4:35 PM 6:00 PM
      Pix-ESL: a SystemC framework for architectural modelling of readout systems in HEP 1h 25m

      The high cost of prototyping at advanced technology nodes, as well as the complexity of future detectors, necessitate the use of a system design technique widely used in industry: design space exploration through high-level architecture studies to establish
      precise and optimal requirements. This work presents Pix-ESL: a programmable SystemC framework for simulating the readout chain from the front-end chips to the detector back-end. The model is transaction accurate, comprises an event generator and
      connects with real-world physics events, and provides metrics such as readout efficiency, latency, and average queue occupancy. This contribution outlines the framework's structure as well as a case study based on Velopix2.

    • 9:00 AM 10:45 AM
      Introduction to fast timing applications in medical physics 1h 45m
      Speaker: Dennis R. Schaart (TU Delft)
    • 10:45 AM 11:05 AM
      Coffee Break 20m
    • 11:05 AM 12:50 PM
      Quantum applications of detectors 1h 45m
      Speaker: Massimo Caccia (Università dell’Insubria)
    • 12:50 PM 2:20 PM
      Lunch 1h 30m
    • 2:20 PM 3:35 PM
      Electronics for Fast Detectors 1h 15m
      Speaker: Dr David Gascon Fora (ICCUB. Universitat de Barcelona)
    • 3:35 PM 3:50 PM
      Best Poster Award & Techno Week Closing 15m
      Speaker: Sergio Gómez (UB)
    • 3:50 PM 4:10 PM
      Coffee Break 20m