Detector Development
 
Overview
One pixel of the SPT-3G detector. Each pixel measures X and Y polarization at three different frequencies -- 95, 150, and 220 GHz - using six superconducting bolometers
With Experiments like SPTpol, DES, CoGeNT, and COUPP, the KICP began its "Pushing Cosmology to the Edge" Physics Frontier Center, well positioned to address the scientific puzzles of inflation, dark energy, and dark matter. The power of these experiments derives from major advances in detector technologies developed specifically to address the science goals. Even as these experiments are being carried out, the technology needed for the next generation of experiments must be developed. The Detector Development MA is a crosscutting element of the PFC; it will pursue advances in detectors by bringing together researchers expert in all aspects of the relevant detector technologies, experimental techniques, and their use for pursuing the Center's scientific goals.

To achieve the Detector Development MA goals its members pursue the following activities:

  • Developing large bolometer detector arrays for CMB polarization measurements for the SPT-3G effort
  • Developing large-mass, low-noise dark matter detectors such as the successor to CoGeNT, called C-4, and the new DAMIC experiment, both designed to search for very low mass WIMPs.

A DAMIC CCD being installed into the electronics enclosure at SNOLAB.
This MA takes full advantage of the outstanding resources available in the Chicago area. Fermilab and Argonne provide access to facilities not commonly available at a university - e.g. the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) at Argonne for fabricating SPTpol bolometers. Another important asset is the Electronics Design Group (EDG) at UChicago and the University of Chicago Engineering Center (UCEC). The EDG, with its long tradition of developing cutting-edge electronics for large-scale high energy physics experiments, plays a role in the design and implementation of the next-generation electronics for large arrays of mm-wave sensors, as well as in low-noise electronics for dark matter experiments. With the KICP's move to the new Eckhardt Research Center, the KICP has gained access to a suite of state-of-the-art laboratories dedicated to their projects, the new Pritzker Nanofabrication Facility, and the expertise of researchers at the new Institute for Molecular Engineering.
The Detector Development MA is an integral part of the Institute's mission, which includes the nurturing of future leaders who will push cosmology to the edge in the next decades. Our Fellows and students have access to a network of top-class facilities and are trained by the current leaders of the field in the art of detector design. Through this MA, a new generation of scientists who are passionate about the science and have the technological vision to design innovative experiments that will make breakthroughs in our understanding of the Universe.