The Semiconductor Detector Laboratory (SDL) and its staff have a long history of accomplishments in the development and production of radiation detectors and the support of LBNL’s scientific mission. In the early 1960’s, lithium-drifted Si detectors were one of the main focuses of the SDL, and such detectors were produced extensively for Nuclear Science Division (NSD) experiments. Lithium-drifted Ge detectors were also produced, which was then followed by the development of high-purity Ge (HPGe) crystal growth in the early 1970’s and the eventual development of new detector technologies based on the material. Position-sensitive Si and HPGe detectors were developed, and the first Si and HPGe drift detectors were made in the SDL. The shaped-field point-contact HPGe detector, and the amorphous semiconductor passivation and electrical contact technologies were also invented and developed in the SDL. In the mid 1990’s the detector work was expanded to CdZnTe, which led to the highly successful coplanar-grid technology.
Today the SDL is run by staff in NSD’s Applied Nuclear Physics group and the Engineering Division. The facility and its staff have all the equipment and expertise necessary to develop and manufacture unique detectors and detection systems based on Si, HPGe, and CdZnTe. The current focus of these programs is gamma-ray tracking, imaging, and high-resolution spectroscopy for applications in the areas of nuclear physics, astrophysics, nuclear nonproliferation, and homeland security.
Detector developments in the Semiconductor Detector Laboratory include:
Ultra High Rate Ge (UHRGe) Detectors
Development and demonstration of prototype HPGe detectors capable of performing high resolution gamma-ray spectroscopy at count rates in excess of 2 million counts per second with minimal dead time losses. Ongoing efforts are focused on the development of 3D position sensitive ultra high rate Ge detectors with for applications in gamma-ray imaging and nuclear structure physics.
P-type Point Contact Detectors
Development of ultra-low capacitance large-volume HPGe detectors enables higher sensitivity while pushing the lowest detectable energy limits.
Ultra Low-Noise Ge Detector Readout
The Low-Noise Low-Capacitance (LNC) ASIC was commissioned by ANP and designed by BNL in order to enable the next generation of ultra-low radioactive background HPGe-based neutrino and dark matter science.
Double-sided Ge Strip Detectors