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  15-10-2002: SILICON-BASED RESEARCH AND INDUSTRY MEET IN CATANIA.  
 COMPLETE LIST 
A silicon microchip
A silicon microchip

© Infn 2002 Use of the image is free of charge following authorisation by the Infn Communication Office


From particle detectors to medical diagnosis: here is the future of microelectronics.

On October 23 and 24 the Grand Hotel Baia Verde in Catania will house a workshop on integrated electronics, silicon sensors and technological follow-ups for medical and industrial applications. The meeting will assemble the most important experts in the field, among which are researchers of the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (Infn) and of other Cern member countries, as well as researchers from STmicroelectronics. They will compare experiences and perspectives in order to strengthen and extend the existing collaborations between the worlds of research and industry and develop programs in common to face new challenges.

Silicon is by far the most common element on Earth, as well as the raw material that all the electronic apparatuses that have come to be part of our daily lives are made of.
In a less spectacular, though equally decisive, way, in the field of subnuclear physics detectors have been designed where silicon is the main component of instruments that measure the passage of particles very precisely. Important scientific discoveries, such as for example the quark top observation at the Chicago Fermilab, have been made possible by the construction of this kind of detectors.

The most ambitious technological challenge, among those the Infn faces today, is the construction of the great Lhc (Large Hadron Collider) complex at Cern in Geneva. This accelerator will be the machine with the most advanced technology ever made in the world. It was conceived, among other reasons, with the objective of discovering Higg’s boson: the elusive particle that has been sought after for many years and is at the heart of extremely advanced experiments in various countries.
The planning and the construction of the detectors necessary for the Lhc experiments have brought to life a new synergy between fronteer research and industry. This collaboration has given a strong impulse to the construction of silicon particle detectors and components for the electronics connected with the treatment and transmission of the information coming from these detectors.

The Infn in its various seats, often in collaboration with STmicroelectronics, designed and built the prototypes of the central detector of the Cms (Compact Muon Solenoid) experiment of the Lhc. Similar devices are able to resist in extreme radiation conditions and they will also be used in other experiments that will be conducted in Space.

During the conference a relevant part of the discussions will concern the use in medical diagnosis of silicon detectors first developed in particle physics experiments. Some of them have already been used for medical applications in pilot experiments, such as mammography. Many more sectors of medicine promise to give interesting developments, especially in the improvement of the quality of diagnostic images.


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