Research Group 1

SiPM Systems for Astroparticle Physics and Medical Physics

 

Group leader:  Dr Marcin Kuźniak

 

The group primarily works on searches for new physics with liquid argon detectors (within the Global Argon Dark Matter Collaboration), through optimization and development of light collection and Silicon Photo Multiplier (SiPM) photo-detection systems. It also explores medical and other applications of SiPMs.

Leading particle astrophysics experiments, whether searching for dark matter or investigating properties of neutrinos, rely on efficient collection and detection of scintillation light induced by interactions of these particles with the detector medium. SiPMs are a novel cutting-edge technology, which is now being adopted to astroparticle physics experiments. It is widely considered to determine the future of the field, permitting to substitute the vacuum tube detectors known as Photo Multiplier Tubes (PMTs) with much more compact, cheaper, and much more efficient silicon chips, which ultimately translates to improved experimental sensitivity and extended physics reach.

SiPM technology has a much broader applications in science and industry, most notably in medical physics, where exquisite timing resolution of SiPMs could revolutionize positron-emission tomography (PET), one of the key tools in a diagnostic of cancer, allowing one to substantially improve precision and at the same time minimize adverse side-effects to the patient.

The group collaborates with local partners as well as with large international collaborations (DEAP and DarkSide).