TIME and SPace real-time Operating Tracker

by Prof. Adriano Lai (INFN Cagliari)


High Luminosities planned at colliders of the next decades pose very severe requirements on vertex detector systems in terms of space resolution (tens of µm), radiation hardness (5 to 10 x 10^16 1 MeV neq cm^-2 and some Grad) and data throughput (a few Tbit/s). Expected event pile-up (>100) introduces the need to add high resolution time measurements (better than 100 ps) already at the single pixel level, for both real-time and off-line track reconstruction. This demand pushes towards a new concept of vertex detector system, where all these features must operate at the same time.

The TIMESPOT project (TIME and SPace real-time Operating Tracker) is a R&D project, financed by INFN, whose strategy consists in facing this experimental challenge at system level. It consists of a research team gathering together state-of-the-art knowledges from different expertises and disciplines, in such a way to finalize existing technologies in the direction of an innovative tracking apparatus.

Many intersting results are already available as an outcome of the TIMESPOT activity. In sensor development, a 3D trench-based geometry has been chosen to be the best one concerning high time resolution applications, and has been already submitted for fabrication. Activity on the design of dedicated front-end in 28-nm CMOS has led to the submission of a complete pixel read-out circuit, also integrating a TDC with 15 ps r.m.s. resolution. A special care is being dedicated to the development of real-time reconstruction algorithms for tracking. Pre-processing is based on the concept of so-called stubs or tracklets, which can be pre-constructed and combined already at the front-end level.

In this talk, after a short overview of the project, some of TIMESPOT results obtained so far will be illustrated, with special emphasis on 3D trench sensors and front-end pixel electronics for high resolution timing.



micro CV of Adriano Lai

A. Lai is an experimental physicist, presentlyDirector of Technology at INFN – Italy.

Since the end of his PhD, he has worked on the conception and construction of detectors, with special emphasis on the design of complex electronics systems. He mainly worked within international collaborations in experiments realized at CERN: PS201 (1992), physics of the nucleus; NA48, direct CP violation (1993-98); LHCb, matter-antimatter asymmetry and rare decays (1999 to present). Since the 90s, he has also covered various roles of responsibilitiy in several national and international research and developement projects, aimed at the conception of innovative experimental techniques and/or at applying new experimental solutions to bio-medical applications. Such projects are: MARE (1997-99), digital radiology system development; microDiagene EU grant initiative (2000-01), miniaturized DNA sequencer (EU FP6); ToASIC (2008-2010), deep-submicron integrated circuit development; Polaris (2010-2013), development of polarized active targets at cryogenic temperatures; AllDigital (2012), development of a fully digital PLL circuit; DORELAS (2014), characterization of solid state devices at liquid helium temperatures for a double resonance detector; AXIOMA (2015-17), development of a laser-operated coherent scintillator. During the years 2012-15 he was INFN scientific responsible and electronics designer of the SENSIPLUS project, aimed at realizing a System-On-a-Chip device for homeland security.

Since 2018, he leads a group of 60 physicists and engineers from 10 Universities in the TIMESPOT project (R&D on fast timing 3D sensors and related electronics).

He is also member of the INFN National Scientific Committee for Physics at accelerators (CSN1) since 2015.