Eduardo Cortina Gil

Academic staff


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


Personal homepage

UCL member card
Nov. 2009
Electronique Analogique
People responsibilities
Muhammad Usman Ashraf (IISN) (member since November 2022)
Nicolas Lurkin (member since September 2010)
I am responsible for the development of the analysis framework and the Run Control of the NA62 experiment. My current research project is the search for new physics in the decay of the charged kaon into a pion and a pair of positrons, and the use of machine learning techniques to be applied for the principal research goal of the NA62 experiment, the measurement of the branching ratio of the K+-> pi+nunu decay. My main areas of expertise are precision Standard Model measurements, searches for new physics in Kaon decays and development of slow control systems. I was previously involved in the NA62-RK experiment at CERN.
Michal Zamkovsky (member since April 2021)

PhD students
Jan Jerhot (member since January 2020)
My current research focuses on ALP phenomenology, specifically simulations of processes involving ALPs at fixed-target experiments. I'm planning to search for ALPs at NA62 experiment when data taken in beam dump mode will be available. I'm also interested in modern amplitude methods, namely soft bootstrap in EFTs.

Artur Shaikhiev (member since May 2018)
Search for rare decays/new particles. Interested in Monte Carlo simulation of physics experiments.

Former members
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.
Research directions:
Data analysis in HEP, astroparticle and GW experiments
Detector commissioning, operation and data processing
Research and development of new detectors

Experiments and collaborations:

Active projects
Device simulation of semiconductors sensors
Eduardo Cortina Gil

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).
Eduardo Cortina Gil, Michal Zamkovsky

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.
Imaging with cosmic-ray muons
Marwa Al Moussawi, Samip Basnet, Eduardo Cortina Gil, Ishan Darshana, Pavel Demin, Andrea Giammanco, Maxime Lagrange

The general goal of this project is to develop muon-based radiography or tomography (“muography”), an innovative multidisciplinary approach to study large-scale natural or man-made structures, establishing a strong synergy between particle physics and other disciplines, such as geology and archaeology.
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 using the local facilities at CP3 for the development of high-resolution portable detectors based on Resistive Plate Chambers.

We also participate to the MURAVES collaboration through simulations (including the coordination of the Monte Carlo group), data-analysis developments (an example of the latter is the implementation and in-situ calibration of time-of-flight capabilities), and development of a new database.

We are part of the H2020-RIA project SilentBorder, which aims at developing new muon scanners at border controls. Our role in this project is to develop a parametric simulation and a ML-based detector optimization procedure.

We are also part of the H2020-MSCA-RISE network INTENSE where we coordinate the Muography work package, which brings together particle physicists, geophysicists, archaeologists, civil engineers and private companies for the development and exploitation of this imaging method.

External collaborators: UGent; Kyushu University; INTENSE Research & Innovation Staff Exchange network (Japan, Switzerland, Italy, France, Hungary); SilentBorder network (Estonia, Germany, Finland, Turkey, Italy, UK); MURAVES Collaboration including INFN, INGV, universities of Florence and Federico II Naples, UGent.
LARA: LAser for Radiation Analysis
Eduardo Cortina Gil

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
Eduardo Cortina Gil

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
Eduardo Cortina Gil, Pavel Demin

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
Eduardo Cortina Gil

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).
The CMS silicon strip tracker upgrade
Eduardo Cortina Gil, Jérôme de Favereau, Christophe Delaere, Pavel Demin, Suat Donertas, Khawla Jaffel, Sandhya Jain, Vincent Lemaitre, Sébastien Wertz

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.
TRAPPISTe: Tracking for Particle Physics Instrumentation in SOI Technology
Eduardo Cortina Gil

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).

Non-active projects
Publications in IRMP
All my publications on Inspire

Number of publications as IRMP member: 19
Last 5 publications


IRMP-CP3-23-13: Magnetic field imaging by cosmic-ray muons (Magic-\ensuremath{\mu}) -- First feasibility simulation for strong magnetic fields
Kin, Tadahiro and Basiri, Hamid and Cortina Gil, Eduardo and Giammanco, Andrea

[Abstract] [PDF]
Under review in Journal of Advanced Instrumentation for Science. Proceedings of Muographers'21.
Refereed paper. March 14.


CP3-22-45: Portable Resistive Plate Chambers for Muography in confined environments
Gamage, R. M. I. D. and Basnet, Samip and Cortina Gil, Eduardo and Giammanco, Andrea and Demin, Pavel and Moussawi, Marwa and Samalan, Amrutha and Tytgat, Michael and Karnam, Raveendrababu and Youssef, Ayman

[Abstract] [PDF] [Full text]
Proceedings of the inter-Disciplinary Underground Science and Technology conference (i-DUST 2022).
E3S Web of Conferences 357, 01001 (2022)
Contribution to proceedings. September 21.
CP3-22-07: Towards a portable high-resolution muon detector based on Resistive Plate Chambers
Basnet, S. and Gil, E. Cortina and Demin, P. and Gamage, R. M. I. D. and Giammanco, A. and Karnam, R. and Moussawi, M. and Samalan, A. and Tytgat, M.

[Abstract] [PDF]
Proceeding for the International Workshop on Cosmic-Ray Muography (Muography2021), submitted to Journal for Advanced Instrumentation in Science (JAIS)
Contribution to proceedings. February 2.
CP3-22-06: Simulation of a first case study for magnetic field imaging with the Magic-$\mu$ technique
Basiri, Hamid and Kin, Tadahiro and Okamoto, Naoya and Gil, Eduardo Cortina and Giammanco, Andrea

[Abstract] [PDF]
Contribution to proceedings. January 20.
CP3-22-04: Resistive Plate Chambers in Muography
Giammanco, A. and Cortina Gil, E. and Andringa, S. and Tytgat, M.

[Journal] [Full text]
Part of the book:
"Muography: Exploring Earth's Subsurface with Elementary Particles", editors: Laszlo Olah, Hiroyuki K. Tanaka, Dezsõ Varga, ISBN: 978-1-119-72302-8
January 18.

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