SLS Detectors Group

we develop detectors for specific applications at synchrotrons and XFELs and do detector research

The detector group of the SLS has a long standing history in the development of single photon counting X-ray hybrid detectors for synchrotrons. The development started with MYTHEN and PILATUS and we are now working on the next generation of single photon counting detectors (EIGER).

We are also involved in the development of charge integrating X-ray pixel detectors for XFELs. We are part of the AGIPD consortium for the development of the AGIPD detector for the european XFEL, we are developing the GOTTHARD microstrip detector and we also started with JUNGFRAU, a new pixel detector for Swissfel.

More information about the individual detectors can be found on the projects pages.

Our main interests in detector research are the optimization of position resolution by making pixels smaller and by using the charge sharing effect to obtain the maximum information about the absorption position of the photon. For this we have also done a lot of studies of the charge sharing itself mainly on microstrip detectors and we are now developing the MOENCH pixel detector with 25um pitch and capable of interpolating in 2D. We are also working on new sensor materials to increase the efficiency at higher energies by using high-Z sensor materials (CdTe) or thick Si sensors.

More information on this topic can be found on the research pages.

Scientific Highlights 2016

20 October 2016


First protein structure solved using the JUNGFRAU detector!

JUNGFRAU is a charge-integrating, two-dimensional pixel detector developed at the Paul Scherrer Institut for use at free-electron lasers, in particular SwissFEL, and synchrotron light sources. On the 10th October, the first protein crystallography experiment using the JUNGFRAU detector, was performed at the beamline X06SA (PXI) of the Swiss Light Source by the members of the Protein Crystallography and Detectors groups at PSI.

30 June 2016

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Single shot grating interferometry demonstrated using direct conversion detection

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute's Swiss Light Source in Villigen, Switzerland, have developed an X-ray grating interferometry setup which does not require an analyzer grating, by directly detecting the fringes generated by the phase grating with a high resolution detector. The 25um pitch GOTTHARD microstrip detector utilizes a direct conversion sensor in which the charge generated from a single absorbed photon is collected by more than one channel. Therefore it is possible to interpolate to achieve a position resolution finer than the strip pitch. The micron-level resolution delivered by the detector together with the appropriate algorithm to analyze the recorded fringe allows the differential phase signal to be retrieved. The interferometer's flux efficiency is increased by a factor of 2 compared to a standard Talbot-Lau interferometer by avoiding the use of the analyzer grating, which will lead to faster acquisition times and a potential dose reduction.

Scientific Highlights and News up to 2014

6 August 2014

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Fast scanning coherent X-ray imaging using Eiger

The smaller pixel size, high frame rate, and high dynamic range of next-generation photon counting pixel detectors expedites measurements based on coherent diffractive imaging (CDI). The latter comprises methods that exploit the coherence of X-ray synchrotron sources to replace imaging optics by reconstruction algorithms. Researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institut have recently demonstrated fast CDI image acquisition above 25,000 resolution elements per second using an in-house developed Eiger detector. This rate is state of the art for diffractive imaging and even on a par with the fastest scanning X-ray transmission instruments. High image throughput is of crucial importance for both materials and biological sciences for studies with representative population sampling.

4. June 2010

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DECTRIS Ltd wins Swiss Economic Award 2010

Media Releases

DECTRIS Ltd wins the prestigious Swiss Economic Award for start-up companies. The spin-off company of the Paul Scherrer Institute develops and manufactures X-ray detectors.