Description: Grant applications are sought to develop application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), as well as circuits (including firmware) and systems, for rapidly processing data from highly-segmented, position-sensitive germanium detectors (pixel sizes in the range of 1 mm to 1 cm) and from particle detectors (e.g., gas detectors, scintillation counters, silicon drift chambers, silicon pixel and strip detectors, particle calorimeters, and Cherenkov counters) used in nuclear physics experiments. Areas of specific interest include (1) representative circuits such as low-noise preamplifiers, amplifiers, peak sensors, timing sensors, analog storage devices, analog-to-digital and time-to-digital converters, transient digitizers, and time-to-amplitude converters; (2) front-end, digitizing, and multiplexing circuits operating in cryogenic environment, to allow for reduction of noise, power, and number of feedthroughs in highly segmented germanium detectors; (3) multiple-sampling circuits , to allow for pulse-shape analysis; (4) readout electronics for solid-state pixilated detectors, including interconnection technologies, charge sharing processing and correction circuits (pixel pitch below 250 m), and amplifier-sample-and-hold circuits; (5) systems with exceedingly large dynamic range (> 5000) employing, for example, either dynamic charge sensitive amplifier (CSA) gain changing or combinations of a standard linear CSA with a time-over-threshold (TOT) that works well into CSA saturation; and (6) constant-fraction discriminators with uniform response for low- and high energy gamma rays. These circuits should be fast; low-cost; high-density; configurable in software for thresholds, gains, etc.; easy to use with commercial auxiliary electronics; low power; compact; and efficiently packaged for multi-channel devices.
In addition, planned luminosity upgrades at RHIC will require fine-grained vertex and tracking detectors (both silicon and gas) for high particle multiplicity environments. Therefore, grant applications are sought for advances in microelectronics that are specifically designed for low-noise amplification, digitization and smart on-chip processing (triggering, neighboring, sparsification, data reduction) of detector signals, and that are suitable for these next generation detectors. The microelectronics and associated interconnections must be lightweight and have low power dissipation. Of particular interest are designs that minimize higher-gate leakage currents due to tunneling and maintain dynamic range.