Researchers Develop Silicon Strip Detectors to Observe Atomic Nuclei of Heavy Elements

In association with the Munich-based Institut für Radiochemie – Technische Universität München (IR TUM), the Institute of Electron Technology (ITE), located in Warsaw, Poland formulated and created silicon alpha-particle detectors. These detectors are being used in an international experiment for creating and detecting atomic nuclei of the yet to be discovered element 120.

The experiment started a few weeks back at the Centre for Heavy Ion Research (GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung) in Darmstadt.

ITE research team at Warsaw developed the semiconductor devices that can efficiently detect alpha and beta particles as well as protons. The devices have been designated for use in Dubna-based Joint Institute for Nuclear Research and in Darmstadt-based GSI centre. They also supported the innovation of heavy atomic nuclei such as isotope 283 of copernicium and isotopes 270, 271 and 277 of hassium. In addition, 13 nuclei of isotopes 288 and 289 of flerovium were discovered in 2009, using the devices. It also enabled the experimental determination of the island of stability theory. The experiment’s results have been published in "Nature". This led to the authorization followed by addition to the periodic table elements 112 and 114 by International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry and the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics.

At present, ITE detectors are being employed in an experiment involving TransActinide Separator and Chemistry Apparatus (TASCA) ion separator at Darmstadt-based Centre for Heavy Ion Research.

ITE-made Alpha-particle detectors are being produced on silicon plates with specifically designed diffusion regions. While passing through a detector, the particle creates electron-hole pairs within the semiconductor material, which in turn causes electrical current. ITE detectors are double-sided, where two parallel detecting surfaces are present, covered with 16 semiconductor strips, each. The strips are perpendicular to each other on the surface. The particle going through the detector can be determined by measuring signals from the strips on both surfaces.

Two single-sided 8-strip detectors and eight double-sided strip detectors were installed atop FPDB sides within the TASCA ion separator.

Source: http://www.ite.waw.pl/

Will Soutter

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Will Soutter

Will has a B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Durham, and a M.Sc. in Green Chemistry from the University of York. Naturally, Will is our resident Chemistry expert but, a love of science and the internet makes Will the all-rounder of the team. In his spare time Will likes to play the drums, cook and brew cider.

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