Eduardo Cortina Gil
Centre for Cosmology, Particle Physics and Phenomenology - CP3
Université catholique de Louvain
2, Chemin du Cyclotron - Box L7.01.05
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve
+32 10 47 3242
UCL member card
Nov. 2009
People responsibilities
Plamen Petrov, member since January 2014
Experimental particle physicist studying rare kaon decays at the NA62 experiment. At present my work is focused on firmware development for the NA62 trigger and data-acquisition system and the preparation for the measurement of lepton-flavour violating kaon decays.

PhD students
Paula Álvarez Rengifo (UAB), member since November 2010

Carlos Mandeiro (UCL), member since September 2015

Sameh Mannai (UCL), member since October 2009
I am working on the construction and the optimisation of a hadronic calorimeter for the CALICE collaboration for ILC (International Linear collider).

Elisa Minucci (PAI), member since March 2014
Experimentalist, working on the study of rare and forbidden decays, in particular on Lepton Number and Flavor violating K+ decays at the NA62 experiment at CERN.

Master students
Research statement
My research interest are focused into various activities with different time scales. All these activities are related with two basic detection technologies: semiconductors sensors and RPCs.

At short term, our group is involved in the NA62 experiment and the upgrade of the CMS detector. At medium and long term in the participation in the CALICE collaboration.

For the CMS upgrade our group is involved in building and installation of ~10% of forward RPC chambers needed to CMS completion. In the framework of sLHC, we are in a proposal for the upgrade of the CMS tracker. We are actively involved in the simulation of the test structures.

CALICE is a R&D collaboration for the study of high granularity calorimetry for ILC. We are interested in the digital hadronic calorimeter, whose basic design is based on pixelated glass RPCs.

In parallel with these activities, we are also involved smaller projects, most of the time to the service of the upper research line:
- RD50 collaboration, a R&D collaboration to study semiconductor radiation hardness.
- Design of radiation hardness front-end electronics.
- Design of SOI detectors.
I am involved in the following research directions:

Device simulation of semiconductors sensors

Development of simulation tools at device level for semiconductor sensors. We are interested both in the simulation of static characteristics as for instance coupling capacitances, electric fields, etc, but also dynamic characteristics as signal developed in different sensors when particles are passing through.

Tools used to made this simulations are based in comercial software as TCAD or Silvaco and programs developed by ourselves. This work profits from the close collaboration with DICE (FSA/UCL).

External collaborators: Denis Flandre (UCLouvain - EPL).


Gigatracker is in the core of one of the spectrometers used in NA62. It's composed of three planes of silicon pixels detectors assembled in a traditional way: readout electronics bump bonded on silicon sensors. Each plane is composed by 18000 pixels 300 um x 300 um arranged in 45 columns and readout by 10 chips. The particularity of this sensor is that its timing resolution should be better than 200 ps in order to cope with high expected rate (800 MHz). Another particularity is its operation in vacuum.

CP3 is involved in several aspects in the production and operation of this detector.

1) Production of 25 GTK stations that will be used during the NA62 Formula: 0 run

2) Operation of GTK during data taking: time and spatial calibration, efficiency studies, effects of radiation, ....

3) Track candidates reconstruction, simulation.

4) Signal development of the signal in the sensor. We use both commercial programs (i.e. TCAD by Synopsys) as well as software developed by us to study the expected signal in this sensor.

LARA: LAser for Radiation Analysis

LARA: LAser for Radiation Analysis

LARA is a general purpose laser testbench devoted to study the radiation susceptibility of semiconductor devices.
The systems consists in a high precission step motors (~0.1 um), a 1060 nm pulsed laser (PiLAS) with associated optics to obtain beam spots f ~5-6 um, and a set of photodetectors to measure both integrated and pulse-by-pulse optical power.

LARA will have two main applications:
1. Test of semiconductor sensors (pixel, microstrips, etc).
2. Study of single event effects (SEE) in semiconductor components.

A set of standard measurement equipment will be available to perform measurements for both type of applications.

External collaborators: Denis Flandre (UCLouvain - EPL).

LFV/LNV in K+ decays

The NA62 experiment in the North Area of the CERN SPS is now fully operational and taking data. The plan is to collect the highest statistics ever reached for Formula: 0 decays, of the order of Formula: 1 events in the fiducial decay region of the detector until the end of 2018. This high-intensity and high-precision setup makes it possible to probe a number of ultra-rare or forbidden decay channels. Of particular interest to the CP3 group are the LFV/LNV Formula: 2 and Formula: 3 modes.

Many BSM theories predict some degree of LFV, including Supersymmetry or the introduction of massive neutrinos. Furthermore, there are indirect hints for New Physics in the flavor sector, e.g. in the semileptonic decays of B-mesons. Explanations for the observed discrepancies predict effects of LFV in kaon decays. These particular LFV/LNV Formula: 4 processes which at present are not covered by another experiment provide an attractive opportunity to test the SM. Any observable rate for one of these modes would constitute unambiguous evidence for New Physics. Considering the statistics that will be available at NA62 the current limits on their branching-ratios could be improved by at least one order of magnitude.

External collaborators: University of Birmingham.

NA62 computing

NA62 will look for rare kaon decays at SPS accelerator at CERN. A total of about $10^{12}$ kaon decays will be produced in two/three years of data taking. Even though the topology of the events is relatively simple, and the amount of information per event small, the volume of data to be stored per year will be of the order of ~1000 TB. Also, an amount of 500 TB/year is expected from simulation.

Profiting from the synergy inside CP3 in sharing computer resources our group is participating in the definition of the NA62 computing scheme. CP3 will be also one of the grid virtual organization of the experiment.

External collaborators: INFN (Rome I), University of Birmingham, University of Glasgow.

Neutron irradiations with UCL cyclotron

Metrology and instrumentation of CYCLONE-110 T2 irradiation line to test semiconductor sensors and electronics under neutron fluences (max Formula: 0 neq/cm2).

External collaborators: Michael Moll (CERN).

Semi-Digital Hadronic Calorimeter

A key element of future experiments with linear colliders (ILC, CLIC), will be the ability to exploit the particle flow algorithms. They are based on the possibility to follow all the particles produced by e+e- collisions in the various sub-detectors to measure the energy.

Thus, the calorimeters, which until now were used to measure the particle energy will be required to have a tracking capability. In this perspective, we participate with other European and Belgian groups in the development and the construction of a hadron calorimeter with a large granularity as with short-term goal to build a 1m3 prototype.

The calorimeter is based on GRPC detectors used as sensitive medium. Then we participate in data analysis and in test beam particles at CERN. This project will also study the hadronic showers and compare the results
obtained with phenomenological models. The outcome of this comparison should significantly improve our understanding of this phenomenon.

External collaborators: Imad Laktineh (IPNL - Lyon) M.C Fouz (CIEMAT) J.C. Brient (LLR - Ecole Polytechnique).

The CMS silicon strip tracker upgrade

Development of the "phase II" upgrade for the CMS silicon strip stracker.

More precisely, we are involved in the development of the uTCA-based DAQ system and in the test/validation of the first prototype modules. We take active part to the various test-beam campaigns (CERN, DESY, ...)

This activity will potentially make use of the cyclotron of UCL, the probe stations and the SYCOC setup (SYstem de mesure de COllection de Charge) to test the response to laser light, radioactive sources and beams.

The final goal is to take a leading role in the construction of part of the CMS Phase-II tracker.

External collaborators: CRC and CMS collaboration.

Tomography of large structures using cosmic-ray muons

The general goal of this project is to develop muon-based tomography (“muography”), an innovative multidisciplinary approach to study geological structures, establishing a strong synergy between geophysics and particle physics.
Muography is an imaging technique that relies on the measurement of the absorption of muons produced by the interactions of cosmic rays with the atmosphere.
Applications span from geophysics (the study of the interior of mountains and the remote quasi-online monitoring of active volcanoes) to archaeology and mining.

We are part of the G-ENDEAVOR network, that brings together particle physicists and geophysicists for the development and exploitation of high-resolution portable detectors.

We plan to make use of the local facilities at CP3 (e.g., the gRPC cosmic test bench) for further hardware developments.
We also participate to the MURAVES collaboration through algorithmic and data-analysis aspects like the implementation of time-of-flight capabilities, the analysis of control data for the optimization of the reconstruction algorithms, and the understanding of physics and instrumental backgrounds by data-driven and simulation techniques.

External collaborators: G-ENDEAVOR network (Japan, Italy, France, UK, Spain, Hungary), MURAVES Collaboration (Italy), INFN (Italy), INGV(Italy).

TRAPPISTe: Tracking for Particle Physics Instrumentation in SOI Technology

The TRAPPISTe series of sensors tries to use SOI technology to build a monolithic pixel sensor. SOI wafers consist of a thin top silicon active layer, a middle insulating buried oxide layer and a thick handle wafer. Due to the insulating layer, SOI technology allows for more compact layout and lower parasitics compared to traditional bulk CMOS processes.

The TRAPPISTe-1 sensor was designed and fabricated at UCL’s WINFAB facility at the Ecole Polytechnique de Louvain. WINFAB provides a 2m Fully Depleted SOI process with the following characteristics:

• 100nm top active layer, 400nm buried oxide layer, 450um handle wafer
• substrate: 15-25 Ωcm, p-type
• four types of transistors with different threshold voltages: low Vt, standard Vt, high Vt, graded.

The first fabrication of the TRAPPISTe-1 chip was delivered in January 2010. Unfortunately, the process was complicated by a contamination resulting in a voltage shift of all the transistors. A second run of the TRAPPISTe-1 chip is currently being produced.

The TRAPPISTe-2 project has just begun with the SOIPIX collaboration and will use OKI Semiconductor 0.2um technology to build a pixel sensor and test structures. The OKI technology provides the following:

• active layer thickness 50nm, BOX thickness 200nm, handle wafer thickness 250-350um
• substrate resistivity of 700 Ωcm, n-type
• 4 metal layers
• buried p-well (BPW) to suppress back gate effect

TRAPPISTe-2 chips have been delivered by OKI in the beginning of 2011. To test the TRAPPISTe chip, a readout board and a laser test station are being developed. The readout board consists of a daughter board and main board. The daughter board is a small board used for mounting and bonding the TRAPPISTe chip. Several daughter boards have been designed to accommodate the TRAPPISTe-1 and TRAPPISTe-2 chips. The daughter boards plug into the main board which contains DACs to set the appropriate bias voltages and an ADC controlled by an FPGA to read the detector output. A laser test station is being commissioned to test the charge collection of the device.

The TRAPPISTe project has been presented at the following conferences:
- iWoRiD 2009
- IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium 2009
- Vienna Conference on Instrumentation 2010

TRAPPISTe group has also joined the SOIPIX collaboration and was presented at the SOIPIX Collaboration Meeting 2010. SOIPIX is an international research collaboration developing detector applications in SOI technology. More information on the TRAPPISTe project can be found at:

External collaborators: Denis Flandre (UCLouvain - EPL) Elena Martin (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona).

Show past projects.
Publications in CP3
Showing 5 publications over 10. Show all publications.
All my publications on Inspire


SOIPIX R&D programme and applications
Cortina Gil, Eduardo and Soung-Yee, Lawrence
[Full text] 2nd International Summer School on Intelligent Signal Processing for Frontier Research and Industry
Refereed paper. Contribution to proceedings. 24th August.
Construction and commissioning of a technological prototype of a high-granularity semi-digital hadronic calorimeter
Baulieu, G. and Bedjidian, M. and Belkadhi, K. and Berenguer, J. and Boudry, V. and others
[Abstract] [PDF] Submitted to JINST
Refereed paper. 18th June.


High granularity Semi-Digital Hadronic Calorimeter using GRPCs
Sameh Mannai, K. Manai, Y. Haddad and Eduardo Cortina Gil
[Journal] [Full text] Published in Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research. Section A: Vol. 718, no.--, p. 91–94 (2013)
Contribution to proceedings. 29th January.
Track segments in hadronic showers in a highly granular scintillator-steel hadron calorimeter
The CALICE collaboration, Eduardo Cortina Gil and Sameh Mannai
[Abstract] [PDF] [Journal] [Full text] Published in Journal of Instrumentation Vol. 8, no.09, p. P09001 (2013)
Refereed paper. 29th January.


Contemporary measurements of the CKM matrix in the Kaon laboratory: current status and perspectives
S. Podolsky, E. Cortina, N. Lurkin
[Full text] Proceedings of the 13th Small Triangle Meeting — Stará Lesná, Nov. 13–16, 2011
Contribution to proceedings. 5th April.

[UCLouvain] - [SST] [IRMP] - [SC] [PHYS]
Contact : Vincent Boucher & Jérôme de Favereau
Job opportunities PhD position in NA62 experiment