PhD Thesis Defenses

PhD Thesis defense: Performance Improvements for Particle Tracking Detectors in Extreme Rate and Radiation

In order to increase its discovery potential, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN is being transformed into a higher luminosity machine expected to be operational around 2026. The number of particle collisions will increase by a factor of 10 beyond the current design value, which means that the detectors installed around the LHC are facing various new challenges. The most demanding challenges include handling the enormous data quantities that will be transferred from the front-end readout modules at significantly higher rates than previously, as well as the radiation effects that arise as a consequence of the intense particle flow and that cause damage to sensor elements and electronics. At the ATLAS experiment, a multipurpose detector operating at the LHC, the impact of the luminosity increase is especially severe for the silicon pixel tracking detector, being the central subsystem located closest to the particle interaction point and therefore exposed to the highest radiation dose and hit density. The extreme radiation doses that the pixel modules will be subject to will cause deformation of the sensor material structure and thus loss of the signals, which after subsequent digitization by the pixel readout chip must be transferred over relatively long distances through a low-mass data link, causing further signal distortion. The work presented here addresses both major challenges described and outlines solutions for the upcoming upgrade of the ATLAS pixel detector system with regards to these. Firstly, it is demonstrated how improved accuracy of detector simulations and reconstruction of particle trajectories through the detector can be achieved as higher particle fluences are approached, by modeling radiation damage effects that occur in the pixel sensors. Secondly, it is shown how a receiver integrated circuit utilizing an industry standard technique novel within high-energy physics applications has been designed as an integral part of a high-speed transmission link to efficiently restore the signal quality in order to achieve adequate data readout rates.