ITk development and construction

For the future, the group is very active in preparations for the construction of a new ATLAS tracking detector for operation at the high luminosity upgrade of the LHC.

People working behind the scenes at the large hadron collider at CERN

Our expertise:

  • Assembly and test of the sensors and hybrids of the Strip detector
  • Development and assembly of the CO2 cooling system for the upgrade inner tracker
  • Development of the upgrade of the software for the high-luminosity LHC

Sheffield Semiconductor Development Facility

The Sheffield Semi-Conductor Development Facility is a specially designed, temperature controlled ISO 14664-1 Class 5 and 7 clean room facility.

The facility has been design to keep Sheffield University at the forefront of radiation hard Silicon Sensor development. The facility was opened in the autumn of 2015 and is currently being used to construct components for the ATLAS High Luminosity upgrade (French, Vickey, Hamity, Zorbas).

There is 16.8m2 of ISO Class 5 clean room and 19.9m2 of ISO Class 7 clean room to allow different project to be worked on simultaneously without interference.

The Clean Room is managed by Sam Edwards (

Wire bonder Hesse Bonjet BJ820

The Hesse Bonjet BJ820 is a high speed fully automatic wire wedge bonder. It can be used in fully automatic or manual mode allowing us to either create programs to perform repeatable tasks or to work on single prototype pieces. The BJ820 has a fully integrated vision system allowing for pattern recognition to search bond pads or fiducial points.

Although currently working with 25 µm Aluminium wire the BJ820 can work with various thicknesses of ribbon or wire of Aluminium, copper or Gold.

The BJ820 has a 305 mm x 410 mm working area, and an accuracy to within 1 µm whilst being able to bond at up to 7 wires per second.

We are currently using this machine to bond up modules for the WP3 part of the ATLAS HL-LHC Upgrade.

Manual Bonder

K&S iBonder 5000 Wedge Bonder, Ultrasonic Wedge, Tab, Stitch and Ribbon abilities, 30/45 Deep Access wire feed

Pull Tester

We are soon to receive an Inseto Dage 4000+ pull tester, for use in conjunction with the BJ820 to give comprehensive data on wire bonding quality.

The Dage 4000+ is an Advanced Bond Tester and Micro Materials tester combined. It has real-time data acquisition with on-board data analysis.

OGP Smartscope Flash CNC 200

The OGP Smartscope Flash CNC 200 is a fully automatic measurement system. It has 3 different measurement systems, Vision, Laser and touch probe allowing a variety of different practical applications. It has a working area of 200 x 200 x 150 mm (XYZ) and has is accurate to 3 µm in the XY direction over 200 mm and an accuracy of 2.3 µm in Z axis over 150 mm.

Its vision system and pattern recognition system means it allows for repeatable adjustable measurements.

The Flash CNC 200 is currently being used to take metalogy results of Sheffield constructed modules for the ATLAS HL-LHC Upgrade.

ALiBaVa Systems

We have 3 ALiBaVa systems that are currently being used to test ATLAS 7 mini sensors pre and post irradiation for annealing.

Probe Stations

During 2016 our current probe-stations will be replaced with updated equipment. A fully automatic probe-station with cooling capability with high resolution SMU and DAQ will be installed in October 2016. Measurements are also possible to be made with the cooled chuck and tri-axial connection to sensor back plane.
Current manual probe-stations will be reduced to allow space for a semi-automatic probe station and newer manual probe stations leaving the facility equipped for taking state of the art measurements

ITk Cooling system development

The ITk semiconductor tracker will operate at a temperature of -20C. A CO2 recirculating cooling system is being developed in Sheffield with the main requirements to be light-weight and high-strength to deliver a 20+ years of service. while minimising the material in the tracker.

Ultra-thin wall Titanium tubing is used to circulate CO2 at 186 bar to remove the heat from the detector electronics. To achieve these requirements a connector-less joining technology was developed in Sheffield in collaboration with UK industry, based on automated electrical-arc welding.

The pictures above show the construction of the TRACI CO2 cooling plant at Sheffield used as a prototype for the main ATLAS upgrade cooling system. The inset on the bottom right shows the automated electrical-arc welding system joining a tube and a valve. T

he picture on the top left shows the ITk strip electrical isolator and temporary connector constructed from 125 um thick Titanium tube. This is now nearing production readiness for the Strip detector and Sheffield will produce a large fraction of the ITk cooling.  

A world top-100 university

We're a world top-100 university renowned for the excellence, impact and distinctiveness of our research-led learning and teaching.