Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Compact Tracking Telescope for High Energy Particles


The ALIBAVA Telescope has been successfully operated at the DESY and CERN-SPS beam lines.

The telescope consists of at least three planes (stations). The stations use ALIBAVA daughter boards to take the tracking information from two 90 degrees-turned strip sensors for XY positioning. The stations act as reference frame and allow precise track reconstruction. Each daughter connects to an ALIBAVA motherboard to process the information and they to a unique master board that synchronizes and controls the whole system. The system is triggered by two scintillators located at both ends.

Several devices can be tested simultaneously. Analysis of charge collection, cluster width, efficiency, resolution, time profile and other parameters of the devices under test with the software provided.

The telescope provides accurate particle tracking and hit point projection on device under test.


This product is sold under license of Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and University of Valencia (Spain)

  • Sensor: Microstrip Silicon, P‐on‐N silicon.
  • Sensor size: 10x10 mm2
  • Thickness: 300 μm
  • Read-out channels: 128
  • Pitch: 80 μm
  • Spatial resolution: < 10 μm
  • Chip BEETLE (technology from CERN/LHC)
  • Clock speed: 40 MHz
  • Dynamic range: 4 MIP
  • Synchronous external trigger. Trigger boards available.
  • Analysis software for Windows, Linux, Mac.
  • Station dimensions: 100x80 mm2
  • Mother and Master board dimensions: 247x172x32 mm3
  • Voltage supply: +5 V
  • Mechanical structure and cooling available

Click for more details

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

What is a Kelvin probe?

The Kelvin probe is a non-contact, non-destructive vibrating capacitor device used to measure the work function (wf) of conducting materials or surface potential (sp) of semiconductor or insulating surfaces. The wf of a surface is typically defined by the topmost 1 - 3 layers of atoms or molecules, so the Kelvin probe is one of the most sensitive surface analysis techniques available. KP Technology systems offer a very high wf resolution of 1 - 3 meV, currently the highest achieved by any commercial device.

The Kelvin probe does not actually touch the surface; rather an electrical contact is made to another part of the sample or sample holder. The probe tip is typically 0.2 - 2.0 mm away from the sample and it measures the 'traditional work function', i.e. that found in literature tables. Other techniques, using very sharp tips some 10's of nanometers away from the sample, measure very reduced and distorted work functions due to the close separation of tip and sample.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Hands-on Educational Tool for Physics

EASy is a portable, compact and complete system for microstrip sensor characterization that uses the front-end readout Beetle chip developed for CERN / LHC experiments.

EASy is a plug-and-play educational system based on the Alibava System. All components needed to start measuring are assembled and prepared, including the microstrip sensor. EASY allows for a quick and simple setup, ideal for student laboratory experiments. Furthermore, a 69-page practical exercise book for the students is included.

The system introduces high-energy physics and particle detectors to physics students with hands-on experience. It familiarizes the students with concepts such as MIP, charge deposition, full depletion and interstrip pitch among others.

EASy can be configured to work with laser light or radioactive sources. The set-up is ideal for making basic or complex experiments with silicon microstrip detectors similar to the ones performed in the actual research field, in facilities such as the LHC at CERN, DESY, FERMILAB, Synchrotrons, etc. This easy-to-use electronic equipment establishes the basis for an affordable and complete set for student laboratory experiments.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

CAEN Digitizer Whitepaper

In recent years CAEN has developed a complete family of digitizers that consists of several models differing in sampling frequency, resolution, form factor and other features. Besides the use of the digitizers as waveform recorders (oscilloscope mode), CAEN offers the possibility to upload special versions of the FPGA firmware that implement algorithms for the Digital Pulse Processing (DPP); when the digitizer runs in DPP mode, it becomes a new instrument that represents a complete digital replacement of most traditional modules such as Multi Channel Analyzers, QDCs, TDCs, Discriminators and many others.

Get up to speed by reviewing the details on this web-based whitepaper, which also highlights all available form factors (VNE / NIM / Desktop) as well as the next generation of digitizers which offer:
  • More density, faster sampling rate, higher resolution for higher performances
  • Increased communication readout through 1/10 Gb Ethernet, USB 3.0 (yet keeping proprietary CONET)
  • Easier multi-board synchronization (clock and timing distribution)
  • Increase of acquisition memory buffer size: from SSRAM to DDR4 (=> from MBs to GBs)
  • Single FPGA (Xilinx Zynq US+ ) architecture => more resources for DPP algorithms and support for “Open FPGA
  • Embedded quad-core ARM (Linux) => middleware, web interface. Possibility to run user Data Processing SW

Friday, January 22, 2021

CAEN x1081 Programmable Logic Units

Coincidence, Trigger Logic, Counter, Pulse Generator and more

The DT1081A and N1081B are the new CAEN pocketknife tools that incorporate in a single module the most common functionalities that you need to implement the logic capabilities of your laboratory setup. Whenever you are in need to rapidly configure and perform multiple logic operations at a time, the x1081 is your supporter thanks to its flexibility.
Coincidence, scaler, timer, pulse generator, time stamper, Leading Edge Discriminator (Coming Soon) are only a small portion of the possible functions that can run on the four independent sections of the board. All this is achievable with just a few taps on the touchscreen display while a web interface is available to allow remote control via USB and Ethernet. NIM format is suitable to replace old-style crate analog electronics while the Desktop is its handy evolution to ease working at small benchtop setups.

>>> Click to start video <<<

The CAEN N1081A is a laboratory tool that incorporates in a single NIM module the most common functionalities that you need to implement the logic capabilities of your experiment.

The module is organized in four sections, with 6 inputs and 4 outputs each (selectable impedance) accepting TTL/NIM signals. Each section is configurable independently according to one of the available pre-programmed functions, like scaler, counter, time stamping, digital pulse generator, etc. The section programming can be done using the 2.8” touch screen display or via the web-interface. Each section integrates a discriminator with programmable threshold and an asynchronous Gate & Delay with 5ns resolution. This allows the user to trim at best the needed parameters and to perform accurate measurements.

Click here for more details!

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Solid Sealing Technology Starts 2021 With New Website

Solid Sealing Technology, our partners in Ceramic Feedthroughs and thousands of industry standard parts for vacuum technology, have opened 2021 with a new website which we invite you to visit: www.solidsealing.com 

Solid Sealing Technology designs and manufactures essential electrical components for today’s high-tech world. Their innovative material-joining technologies bond ceramics and glass to metal to create hermetic feedthroughs and connectors tailored for use in vacuum environments. Experts in design, SST offers a vast catalog of standard high-performance sealing solutions that improve reliability in demanding engineering settings. And for customers with unique challenges, SST’s skilled engineering group creates fully customized parts from the ground up.

SST products include: vacuum feedthroughs, hermetic connectors, ceramic-to-metal sealing, metalizing and brazing of ceramics, glass-ceramic sealing, sapphire viewports, UHV-grade copper pinch-off tubules and custom feedthrough design.

SST engineers work closely with every customer to deliver custom hermetic solutions and industry-leading ceramic-to-metal seals that can be found behind the scenes of some of the world’s most advanced technologies. Examples include industrial, medical, and research facilities where SST parts are used in equipment like energy storage systems, MRI machines, and particle accelerators. SST have even sent parts to Mars, empowering NASA’s Mars Insight Mission to tackle the challenges of our solar system. Highly Innovative, Creatively Bespoke, and Impressively Robust, SST vacuum feedthroughs and hermetic connectors help push the boundaries of technological advancement in an evolving world.


Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Didactic Kits for University of Fribourg

At the Faculty of Science and Medicine of the University of Fribourg, they teach the next generation of scientists and doctors, with a particular focus on life sciences, biomedicine, and nanomaterials. They train them to face the future challenges of our society.

During Q1/2012 they will be receiving two new Educational Kits & Experiments for training students with state-of-the-art didactic tools from CAEN, world leader in nuclear and particle physics instrumentation.

SP5700-EasyPET in this tutorial, is a simple, user friendly and portable didactic PET system developed for high-level education, which allows exploring the physical and technological principles of the conventional human PET scanners, using the same basic detectors of state-of- the-art systems. The Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanner is the state-of-the-art medical imaging system, capable of providing detailed functional information of physiological processes inside the human body. Functional imaging has a great impact in cancer diagnostics, monitoring of therapy effects and cancer drug development. The underlying principle to PET systems is the detection of high energy radiation emitted from a chemical marker, a molecule labelled with a radioisotope, administered to a patient. The radioisotope emits positrons which, after annihilating with atomic electrons, result in the isotropic emission of two photons back to back with an energy of 511 keV. The two photons are detected by a ring of detectors, which allows a pair of them to detect two back to back photons in any direction.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Ф4 Ultra-high Vacuum Scanning Kelvin Probe

The Ф4 Ultra-high Vacuum Scanning Kelvin Probe system gives the user full access to work function measurements under vacuum with the ability to alter the temperature from 77 K to 860 K. The Kelvin probe measurement has resolution of 1 - 3 meV for a 2 mm tip on a conducting sample. The sample is mounted on a plate that is located on a motorized (x, y, z) translator attached to a stainless steel vacuum chamber. Phi 4 also comes with a photoemission spectroscopy system with a tunable source (3.4 - 7.0 eV). The deep ultra-violet (DUV) light spot measures approximately 3 x 4 mm. Absolute work function measurements can be obtained with this system in the range of 4.0 - 6.5 eV with an accuracy of 0.05 - 0.1 eV.

The system can be upgraded with surface photovoltage spectroscopy through utilizing other ports in the system chamber. Liquid nitrogen is used as the method of cooling the sample and heating is achieved by controllable direct current. Nitrogen gas is used to displace the oxygen to facilitate the use of the photoemission system source. An optical breadboard is used to support the chamber and standard power is required for operation.

Φ4: Scanning, ambient pressure photoemission spectroscopy, surface photovoltage
and surface photovoltage spectroscopy capabilities

Friday, October 9, 2020

Black Holes Matter

Congratulations to this trio for winning the 2020 Physics Nobel:

Roger Penrose for linking black hole formation to relativity; Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez for discovery of supermassive object.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Radiation detection for Gamma Spectroscopy and/or Neutron-Gamma Discrimination

i-Spector is an innovative product by CAEN, designed to operate as full-featured radiation detection systems for Gamma Spectroscopy and/or Neutron-Gamma Discrimination. Its profile makes this unit ideal for many portable applications where size, weight and power consumption are important constraints. Depending on the selected model, the i-Spector is suitable for a wide range of applications:
  • PMT replacement in physics experiment
  • Laboratory R&D on SiPM technology
  • Portable Gamma-Spectroscopy Industrial process monitoring
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Handheld border control against illicit traffic of radioactive material
  • Neutron detection experiments
  • Vehicle/personnel check-point portals
i-Spector is an all-in-one detector and electronics instrument based on a SiPM area (18×18 mm2, 24×24 mm2 or 30×30 mm2), possibly coupled to a scintillation crystal suitable for the chosen application. The i-Spector integrates in a compact tube-like mechanics the detection stage, frontend electronics, an integrated power supply for SiPM biasing and, eventually, a digital chain to process onboard the incoming data. The i-Spector can be controlled via Ethernet and/or wireless communication based on LoRa standard.

A web-based GUI allows the user to set the acquisition parameters, see results on plot and perform basic data analysis.

Multiple i-Spector tubes can be connected and controlled from a single PC. The API interface allows to control multiple devices using very simple HTTP requests and JSON vectors. A cloud-based software (Rad Cloud – FREE TRIAL) allows to build a network of i-Spector units, collecting data from the detectors and displaying them on maps or interactive tables.

i-Spector is available as OEM electronics, to encourage integration in more complex detection systems, or in ASSEMBLY version, with a suitable scintillation crystal coupled to the SiPM area. The standard assembly is available with CsI for Gamma Spectroscopy and EJ-276 for Gamma-Neutron Discrimination. Other crystals can be mounted on request. The ASSEMBLY unit is enclosed in a light-tight aluminum/plastic tube ( Ø 60 mm, h 135 mm ), with the possibility to unmount the crystal holder and easily change it.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

2019 Nobel Prize in Physics

This has been an exciting week for the Swiss scientific community with the awarding of the 2019 Nobel Prize for Physics to James Peebles, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz. Swiss physicists Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz, University of Geneva, were awarded the prize for discovering the first exoplanet orbiting a sun-like star back in 1995. Peebles baged half the prize for “theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology”.

Exoplanets, or extra solar planets, are planets beyond our solar system. This 4 minutes National Geographic video explains their discovery and significance.

In 1995, Professor Michel Mayor and his doctoral student Didier Queloz discovered 51 Pegasi B, a planet orbiting a sun-like star beyond our solar system. Their discovery created great interest in the field and research since then has led to the discovery of around 4,000 exoplanets, some of which might support life. Proxima Centauri b, the closest potentially habitable exoplanet, is 40 trillion km (4.2 light years) from earth.

A 4th physicist, John Goodenough, shared the Chemistry award with Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino for the development of lithium-ion batteries.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Build your Muons telescope!


New Educational Kit

Cosmic Hunter is a new educational tool through which CAEN expects to inspire young students and guide them towards the analysis and comprehension of cosmic rays.
Cosmic Hunter, Silicon Photomultiplier (SiPM) based, is composed of one detection - coincidence unit together with up to three plastic scintillating tiles.
Muons detection, flux estimation, shower detection and more are allowed thanks to a flexible system geometry.
  • Cosmic muons detection
  • Coincidence (single, double and triple)
  • Zenit angle dependence of the muon flux
  • Cosmic shower detection
  • Based on SiPM detectors and plastic scintillating tiles.
  • Up to 3 scintillating tiles management
  • Flexible system geometry
  • No need of software interface
  • Embedded E-Ink Display
  • SD card to download data
For more information: info@xtronix.ch

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Experiment to Detect Dark Energy Turns Up Nothing

Imperial College London scientists tested a proposed model of the missing dark energy force in which it acts inversely from gravity — powerful in a vacuum and nearly undetectable in the presence of a lot of matter.

The accelerated expansion of the universe motivates a wide class of scalar field theories that modify general relativity (GR) on large scales. Such theories require a screening mechanism to suppress the new force in regions where the weak field limit of GR has been experimentally tested. The scientists used atom interferometry to measure the acceleration of an atom toward a macroscopic test mass inside a high vacuum chamber, where new forces can be unscreened. The measurement show no evidence of new forces, a result that places stringent bounds on chameleon and symmetron theories of modified gravity.

Click for more

Friday, June 7, 2019

XENON Dark Matter Project

Dark-matter detector observes exotic nuclear decay
CAEN and the XENON Collaboration have been pioneers in the fully Digital Data Acquisition and Pulse Processing for Dark Matter research. A longstanding, prolific collaboration that keeps on delivering important science results and is ready for future challenges.

What is XENON1T Experiment
XENON experiment is a 3500kg liquid xenon detector to search for the elusive Dark Matter – construction of the next phase, XENON1T, started in Hall B of the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in 2014. The detector contains 3.5 tons of ultra radio-pure liquid Xenon, and has a fiducial volume of about 2 tons. The detector is housed in a 10 m water tank that serves as a muon veto. The TPC is 1 m in diameter and 1 m in height. The predicted sensitivity at 50 GeV/c2 is 2.0×10−47 cm2. This is 100x lower than the current limit published for XENON100.

CAEN V1724 14 bit ADCs with 100 MHz sampling frequency and 40 MHz input bandwidth were used in XENON100 and used again in XENON1T but in this later stage the system has been upgraded to handle a larger amount of data. This lead to a rather short development time since old systems and software (also for data storage and data processing) can be largely re-used.

In XENON100, CAEN increased the maximum DAQ rate by more than one order of magnitude compared to XENON10 – although the drift length was doubled and the number of channels increased by a factor 2.7 – by using an online data reduction technique developed in cooperation with CAEN. This FPGA based method is basically rejecting all baseline between peaks and reduces the amount of data to be transferred and stored dramatically. However, the algorithm is still very simple. In cooperation with CAEN, we will exploit all possibilities to reduce the data size even further.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Argentinosaurus Collider

We know that 5% of the Universe is directly observable. The Standard Model of Particle Physics describes it precisely. But what about the remaining 95%? 

No, Argentinosaurus Collider is not CERN's official name for the Future Circular Collider, just a nickname I've given it in view of its 100 km circumference and the ancient world's biggest dinosaur, the 100-ton Argentinosaurus (or "Argentine lizard") which lived on our planet almost 100 million years ago!

The discovery of the Higgs boson at the LHC was a milestone for particle physics. In a nutshell, it completed the Standard Model of Particle Physics, which describes the matter that forms the world around us. Yet many questions about our Universe remain unanswered. Is there more matter in the Universe than what is visible? What is dark matter made of? What happened to antimatter after the Big Bang? Are there extra dimensions in the Universe and, if so, can we explore them? To get answers and find out more about our Universe, scientists have to carry out experiments in more powerful particle accelerators. The higher energy frontier will expand our horizons and may shed light to the missing pieces of the puzzle of Nature.

Visit these websites for more details: 
  1. https://fcc.web.cern.ch/Pages/news/FCC-publishes-concept-design-for-a-post-LHC-future-circular-collider-at-CERN.aspx
  2. https://fcc-cdr.web.cern.ch
  3. https://fcc.web.cern.ch/Pages/default.aspx 
  4. http://clic-study.web.cern.ch 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

VES-210 Production Vacuum Exhaust & Gas Backfill System

For over two decades xtronix has been delivering unique custom systems, instruments, cryostats and vacuum components.

Our latest shipment is a Vacuum Exhaust Station (VES-210) with gas backfill capability for an EU production plant of a very large multinational instrumentation firm.

xtronix custom designs removes the burdensome task of design engineering, parts procurement, assembly, testing and final qualification. We work with trusted suppliers, often companies we actively distribute products of, leaving our customers more time to focus on their own clients and less on worrying about all the intricacies of custom designs.

Past custom designs have varied from components as vacuum feedthrough assemblies for radar or night vision devices to Pirani vacuum gauges, cryostats, sputter coating and gas blending systems.

The VES-210 pictured here can be used for production of gas-backfilled devices typically as used in X-ray collection techniques such as X-ray Fluorescence / Diffraction products, or in the manufacture of appendage ion pumps, small communication devices or other pinch-off cavities. This concept can be expanded to a VES-310, -410 or reduced to a VES-110 concept.

High vacuum is achieved by a turbo-molecular pump with a scroll backing / roughing pump.

The vacuum cycle is fully automated via a touchscreen, menu-driven controller. Vacuum and gas hardware is stainless steel throughout and the vacuum components are mostly right out of our own 88-page vacuum components catalog. The system conforms to CE norms.

Click for more!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Hermetic fiber optics are here!

Solid Sealing Technology now offers a full line of single and multimode fiber optic feedthrough adapters for ultra high vacuum!

SST's line of hermetic fiber optic adapters utilize a precision zirconia ferrule terminated to multimode or single mode (125µ OD) optical fiber. The zirconia ferrules are high temperature brazed into mating metal hardware to provide the highest reliability seal. This construction allows these connectors to be welded directly into packages or into a wide variety of flanges and fittings for easy installation.

Each product is helium leak checked to < 1x10 -10 cc/sec and optically tested before it leaves the factory to ensure performance. All SST optical feedthroughs and accessory connectors feature an industry standard UPC polish.

Click for details

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Whole body counter WBC - HPGe detector based

Whole body counter developed by Baltic Scientific Instruments is intended for location and analysis of radionuclides in human body. The system is flexible to perform analysis of nearly any part of the body like joints, lungs, thyroid, etc. Having two HPGe detectors, the system provides outstanding measurement result in terms of accuracy and measurement speed. Depending of HPGe detector type (GCD or GCDX) it is possible to cover wide energy range, which means the list of radionuclides is so big that nothing will remain without attention of the specialist.
In some cases, longer acquisition is required, therefore, the examined person has comfortable ergonomic chair to be fixed for long measurement and still feel comfortable. Hydraulic mechanism of the chair together with adjustable positioning mechanisms of detectors allow to pick up almost any point of the body for measurement, keeping the examined person relaxed.
From the point of view of the specialist (operator), the software interface remains simple and intuitive allowing to control both HPGe detectors simultaneously summing the measurement result or operating each HPGe detector separately.
After measurement is finished, the operator will be able to see use electronic version of the report or print it out with one click. Content of the report is possible to adjust according to specific needs by editing the report template.


  • Quantitative and qualitative analysis using high-resolution HPGe detectors
  • Adjustable to measure any part of the body
  • Comfortable for the examined person
  • Available with one or multiple HPGe detectors
  • Option: available with scintillation detectors like NaI, LaBr, SrI, etc.
  • Simple and intuitive software interface
  • Automatic filling station for LN2

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

CAEN 40th Year Anniversary Catalog

In just a few months, CAEN SpA will celebrate their 40th anniversary. X-TRONIX AG/SA has been privileged to share 30 of those years, going back to when FASTBUS (IEEE 960) was the computer bus standard, and originally intended to replace Computer Automated Measurement and Control (CAMAC) in high-speed, large-scale data acquisition!
Going into the 40th year of cutting-edge innovations.
We will shortly be distributing the 2019 anniversary edition of the CAEN Electronic Instrumentation Product Catalog to the Swiss customer base. Click here to download your advanced PDF copy.
You will find the index on the back, starting on page 283. It also depicts some 65 new products.
Since 2017, CAEN has become the exclusive worldwide distributor for Weeroc ASICs. X-TRONIX is here to assist you also on this exciting line of off-the-shelf programmable analog and mixed front-end ASIC chips for photon and particle detectors readout. You can see the standard range on pages 209 to 214. Also, take a peak on page 176 & 177 for the new Weeroc ASIC-based solution to readout SiPM arrays with coincidence trigger logic.
A new and recent release, the preamplifiers for Fission Chambers and Proton Recoil which earlier this year made their formal entry on the Swiss market through a team at EPFL. Details are on page 188.
To ensure your copy of the printed catalog, please drop us an email: info@xtronix.ch (Swiss market only - all others please contact info@caen.it)
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