Development of a silicon vertex tracker for the electron-ion collider

Wennlöf, Håkan Lennart Olov ORCID: 0000-0002-6410-8622 (2021). Development of a silicon vertex tracker for the electron-ion collider. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The electron-ion collider (EIC) will be built at the Brookhaven National Laboratory over the next ten years, with the purpose of giving insight into nucleon structure, origins of nucleon mass and spin, and quark and gluon confinement. This thesis pertains to the silicon vertex tracker for an EIC experiment; the detector closest to the interaction point. The purpose of a silicon vertex tracker is to locate the origin vertex position of charged particles and measure the particle momentum, and the EIC physics goals require detector resolutions beyond current state-of-the-art silicon vertex trackers. The aim of this thesis is to find a suitable silicon sensor technology for further developments by tests performed in a lab and at a testbeam, and to find a silicon vertex tracker geometry with performance matching the EIC physics requirements using simulations.

The baseline sensor for the studies comes from the ALICE inner tracker upgrade, and is called the ALPIDE sensor. A new monolithic silicon sensor development designed to increase depletion is tested and compared to the performance of an ALPIDE-like sensor, and found to improve charge collection performance while keeping the sensor capacitance low. This aids tracking performance, and the new development is thus considered a possible path for development of an EIC-specific sensor. Simulations of different silicon vertex tracker geometries and parameters are performed using GEANT4, and a high-performing layout consisting of inner and outer silicon sensor layers surrounded by a gaseous detector and silicon disks is developed. It is also found that if a more compact tracker is desired, an all-silicon concept outperforms a combination of silicon and gaseous detectors. Further simulations of the best-performing layouts with current projections of possible silicon sensor material thickness and pixel size show that they meet the requirements of the EIC physics goals in terms of momentum resolution if a 3 T solenoidal magnetic field is used, and pointing resolution regardless of magnetic field strength. The silicon vertex tracker developed in this work is one of two baseline tracker concepts used in the ongoing development of an EIC reference detector.

The performance of different detector concepts is also studied using realistic electron-proton collision events generated using PYTHIA and propagated through the detector simulation, with a focus on charmed meson reconstruction. It is found that a compact all-silicon tracker can perform as well as an all-silicon concept with a larger radius in these studies, but a large-radius combination of silicon and gaseous detectors is always better than all-silicon concepts in the studied open charm case.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Physics and Astronomy
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics


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