PhD Thesis Student

Context & Job description

PhD Thesis Student on X-ray detectors

Thesis topic:  Study and application of incremental digital integration methods to the development of pixel area X-ray detectors for synchrotron applications

Context and Job description

The ESRF and the University of Heidelberg are jointly developing a new type of X-ray hybrid pixel 2D detector for the upcoming generation very high brilliance synchrotron radiation sources. The detector will be optimised to operate with high X-ray energies and will be based on a concept, incremental digital integration, still not implemented in existing devices. This new concept combines features from current photon counting and charge integrating readout schemes. The project includes the design of semiconductor sensors for high photon energies and specific readout microelectronic chips in CMOS 65 nm technology, the construction of small scale prototypes and performance evaluations of full scale detector systems.

The thesis will consist in a detailed study of the advantages, implementation options and potential limitations of the new scheme and an investigation of methods to maximise the performance of the full detector system. The work will include both experimental and theoretical work. The student will contribute to the functional definition, construction and characterisation of test detector modules as well as to paper studies and simulations of full-scale system that will help to define the functionality and specifications of the final detector. The study will be carried out in close interaction with detector experts and the chip designers working on the readout ASICs.

Expected profile

  • Degree allowing the enrolment in a PhD programme in physics, instrumentation or a closely related area. The eligibility to follow the doctorate at the University of Heidelberg is a pre-requisite.
  • Some background in experimental physics and scientific instrumentation, preferably in the area of particle or photon detection.
  • Very good computing programming skills. Familiarity with electronics or microelectronics will be an advantage.
  • Strong motivation and a genuine interest in joining a multidisciplinary international team
  • Good documentation, organisation and analytical skills
  • Proficiency in English

Working conditions

The work will be based in Grenoble at ESRF (France), but the student is expected to join the Doctoral School of the University of Heidelberg and spend short periods in Heidelberg (Germany) to complete the doctorate programme and fulfil academic formalities.


Company description

The European Synchrotron, the ESRF, is an international research centre based in Grenoble, France.

Through its innovative engineering, pioneering scientific vision and a strong commitment from its 700 staff members, the ESRF is recognised as one of the top research facilities worldwide. Its particle accelerator produces intense X-ray beams that are used by thousands of scientists each year for experiments in diverse fields such as biology, medicine, environmental sciences, cultural heritage, materials science, and physics.

Supported by 22 countries, the ESRF is an equal opportunity employer and encourages diversity.

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