INTELUM: Completion of a successful project coordinated by CERN

 

10.03.2019

 

INTELUM was a four-year Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) project coordinated by CERN. The project was focused on international and intersectoral mobility to develop advanced scintillating and Cerenkov fibres for new hadron and jet calorimeters for future colliders. Intelligentsia were the project’s administrative coordinator.

 

In late February, the INTELUM consortium partners met to review the project’s overall achievements at a final meeting held in glorious sunshine in Talloires on the banks of Lake Annecy.

 

In sum, INTELUM proved to be a successful project.

 

Over the course of nearly 200 person-months of secondments spread over four years (>96% total planned secondments), the partners achieved the following results and impacts.

 

Results: progress beyond the state-of-the-art

Substantial progress was made in the understanding of the properties of scintillating materials (garnet and SiO2 doped Ce and Pr) as well as the production of heavy and light crystal fibres.

 

Concerning the material studies, the understanding of the role of co-doping in garnet doped Ce crystals for improving the timing properties and radiation hardness was progressed well. In addition to YAG and LuAG material, a new type of garnet material, GAGG, was studied extensively. With higher light yield compared to YAG and LuAG, GAGG has been revealed to be a promising material for use in several applications.

 

The impact of the concentration of cerium on the radiation hardness of the SiO2 doped fibres was studied in detail.

 

Concerning the production of scintillating fibres, it was demonstrated for light fibres (Si02 Ce or Pr doped fibres) that several kilometres of fibres can be produced with acceptable attenuation length in a short time and cost-effective way. Progress on radiation resistance still needs to be made in order to use such fibres in a high radiation level environment.

 

For crystal fibres, several production methods for garnet fibres were investigated (micro-pulling down, EFG, Czochralski) and fibres were produced using these methods. It was demonstrated that mass production with these three methods is feasible and that several companies exist capable of producing them.

 

The performances of light and heavy fibres were tested with high energy particle beams in spaghetti type calorimeter prototypes. The possibility to use SiO2:Ce doped fibres for dual readout calorimeter was demonstrated. YAG and GAGG crystal fibres are now being considered for use in a calorimeter of one of the High Luminosity-LHC experiments and so further dedicated R&D is required.

 

Impact

Enabled by the large number of secondments performed within this project, the project significantly contributed to the career development of the involved early stage researchers. The unique experience of carrying out cross-disciplinary research in close collaboration with scientists of many different countries provided the early stage researchers with valuable benefits both on scientific and cultural levels.

 

The exchange between scientists from different institutes and fields significantly enhanced the sharing of expertise and transfer of know-how through the cross fertilization of new ideas. New collaborations emerged from the research activities carried out within this project, as well as new collaborators and companies were attracted by this project. Moreover, several companies from inside and outside the consortium are now able to produce the fibres.

 

The environment of this project strongly favoured the development of new characterisation set-ups, which itself prepared the ground for the development of new materials and detector concepts, in particular for high energy physics.

 

The collaboration and exchanges between partners resulted in 39 publications in international peer-reviewed journals (18 in Period 1, 21 in Period 2) and 71 presentations at international conferences (29 in Period 1, 42 in Period 2). Furthermore, thirteen (13) collaborative research proposals were submitted involving two or more of the partners (e.g. H2020 ASCIMAT) during the INTELUM project.

 

The results obtained within this project have triggered an increased interest in the use of crystal fibre geometries for a future calorimeter detector in one of the High Luminosity-LHC experiments at CERN. A prototype of a spaghetti type calorimeter using 1096 x 10cm long YAG fibres and 278 x 10cm long GAGG fibres was tested in October 2018 using a 20 GeV electron beam with promising preliminary results in terms of energy resolution. Consequently, further R&D effort on this detector technology will be carried out.

 

Finally, INTELUM is expected to create impacts in other fields such as the development of more sensitive radiation detectors for functional medical imaging and homeland security applications.

 

Intelligentsia are very satisfied to have supported such a successful project.

 

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