SLS Detectors Group
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.
Ultra-fast operando X-ray diffraction experiments reveal the temporal evolution of low and high temperature phases and the formation of residual stresses during laser 3D printing of a Ti-6Al-4V alloy. The profound influence of the length of the laser-scanning vector on the evolving microstructure is revealed and elucidated.
Innovation Award on Synchrotron Radiation 2019 for the development of XFEL detectors using the adaptive gain principle
The Innovation Award on Synchrotron Radiation 2019 was given to the researchers Prof. Heinz Graafsma from Desy and Dr. Aldo Mozzanica and Dr. Bernd Schmitt both from the Paul Scherrer Institute. The three physicists were honored for their contributions to the development of detectors for XFEL applications based on the dynamic gain switching principle enabling simultaneously single photon resolution and a large dynamic range. The laudation was held by Prof. Edgar Weckert from Desy. The Synchrotron Radiation Innovation Award is sponsored by SPECS GmbH and BESTEC GmbH.
Researchers of the Paul Scherrer Institut have previously generated 3-D images of a commercially available computer chip. This was achieved using a high-resolution tomography method. Now they extended their imaging approach to a so-called laminography geometry to remove the requirement of preparing isolated samples, also enabling imaging at various magnification. For ptychographic X-ray laminography (PyXL) a new instrument was developed and built, and new data reconstruction algorithms were implemented to align the projections and reconstruct a 3D dataset. The new capabilities were demonstrated by imaging a 16 nm FinFET integrated circuit at 18.9 nm 3D resolution at the Swiss Light Source. The results are reported in the latest edition of the journal Nature Electronics. The imaging technique is not limited to integrated circuits, but can be used for high-resolution 3D imaging of flat extended samples. Thus the researchers start now to exploit other areas of science ranging from biology to magnetism.
A method developed by PSI researchers makes X-ray images of materials even better. The researchers took a number of individual images while moving an optical lens. From these, with the help of computer algorithms, they generated one overall image.
A major milestone in the commissioning of SwissFEL has been reached: the first pump-probe experiments on proteins have been successfully carried out. Crystals of several retinal-binding proteins were delivered in a viscous jet system and a femtosecond laser was used to start the isomerization reaction. Microsecond to sub-picosecond snapshots were then collected, catching the retinal proteins shortly after isomerization of the chromophore.
Fast and accurate data collection for macromolecular crystallography using the JUNGFRAU detector.
On the 7th to 12th of August 2018, a collaborative group of scientists from the Paul Scherrer Institute and members of the LeadXpro and Heptares pharmaceutical companies led by Karol Nass (PSI macromolecular crystallography MX-SLS group) performed the first serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) pilot user experiment at the SwissFEL X-ray free electron laser (XFEL).
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.
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.