SICILIA - Silicon Carbide Detectors for Intense Luminosity Investigations and Applications

We propose a study for the construction of an innovative detection system, based on thick (>100um) silicon carbide detectors for next generation nuclear physics experiments at high beam luminosity.

The Science

The scientific goal of this apparatus is to detect high fluxes (about 107 pps/m2) and fluences (about 1014) of heavy-ions in order to determine the cross sections of very rare nuclear phenomena, such as double charge exchange reactions, of impact for determining nuclear matrix elements entering in the expression of the neutrino-less double beta decay half-life. The main issues for these experiments are the high energy (ΔE/E ~ 1/1000), mass (Δm/m ~ 1/200) and angular resolution (Δq ~ 0.1°) required in order to unambiguously select the reaction channels of interest and extract the relevant information from energy spectra and absolute cross section angular distributions. Due to the very low cross sections, these features must be guaranteed at fluences which exceed by far those tolerated in state of the art solid state detectors, typically used in present experiment of this kind.
The Silicon Carbide technology offers today an ideal response to such challenges, since it gives the opportunity to cope the excellent properties of silicon detectors (resolution, efficiency, linearity, compactness) with a much larger radiation hardness (up to five orders of magnitudes for heavy ions), thermal stability and insensitivity to visible light. However no commercial detector exists and a significant upgrade of present devices is required in terms of thickness of the active region and detection area.
The aim of the project is to develop innovative processes, which allows a massive production of thick (>100 mm) and large area (about 1 cm2) SiC detectors. Two solutions will be investigated: the Schottky and the p/n junctions. We propose to push forward the limits for Schottky technology in relation to the thickness and the active area. The p/n represents a novel solution for SiC, that is particularly promising in analogy to similar junctions based on Silicon devices.


• Involved external institutions: CNR-IMM, Catania (Italy), European Spallation Source, Lund (Sweden), ISIS spallation neutron source, Didcot (UK), JET, Culham (UK), FBK - Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento (Italy), ST Microelectronics, Catania (Italy)
• INFN groups: Catania (LNS), Catania and “Gruppo collegato di Messina” (CT-ME), Milano, Milano Bicocca, Firenze, TIFPA, Pisa
• Principal Investigator: Salvatore Tudisco (INFN - LNS)
• INFN Project: CSN V
• Duration: 2 years (2016-2018)


• Local responsible for TIFPA: Maurizio Boscardin
• Involved TIFPA people: Pierluigi Bellutti, Sabina Ronchin