Foto: Program "Matter and Technologies" ©Copyright: BengsDetector Technologies and Systems Platform

Matter > Matter and Technologies - All Topics

Foto: Silicon Photomultiplyer ©Copyright: Matthias Rietschel / HZDRThe basic components of matter and natural phenomena are either not or only to a limited extent accessible to human senses because they are incredibly small, incredibly fast, or for that matter actually invisible. This is in particular true for the observation of extreme distance, time, and energy scales investigated within the scope of the Helmholtz research sector “Matter”. That is why real “sci fi tools” are needed to trace the hidden properties of matter surrounding us: Detectors. Detectors are the “eyes” which permit scientists to monitor new effects, penetrate into new realms, and, thus, gain new and sometimes groundbreaking insights.

Highly sensitive detectors are capable of, for example, detecting and counting charged particles, neutrons, and photons (e.g. visible light, infrared radiation, or X-rays). One such detector is the Geiger-Müller counter which can detect radiation from radioactive decays. The use of detectors is, thus, not limited to fundamental research or research on the structure of matter. In fact, detectors are also employed in industry and medicine and moreover in a broad range of commercial applications.

The great variety of applications ranges from detectors for experiments on fundamental nuclear and astrophysical research at the accelerator facility of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung (Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research) and ist Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research FAIR to applied fundamental research on nuclear transmutation and materials research with positrons at the HZDR’s electron accelerator ELBE all the way to detectors used in radiooncology in order to further increase the precision of tumor therapy using charged-particle radiation.

The HZDR participates in the Helmholtz portfolio process on the topic Detector Technologies and Systems.


  • Establishing cooperation across the Helmholtz Association for the development of new detectors and detector concepts
  • Usage and supply of HZDR infrastructure and know-how (detector laboratory, knowledge in detector construction, accelerator facilities) for the development and characterization of novel detectors
  • Applications of new detectors and detector concepts in medical applications (in collaboration with the National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology ‒ OncoRay) and technological applications (e.g. analysis of materials using positron-annihilation-energy and lifetime spectroscopy)

Press Releases

Involved HZDR institutes




  • Piatti, D.; Chillery, T.; Depalo, R. et al.
    Underground experimental study finds no evidence of low-energy resonance in the 6Li(p,γ)7Be reaction
    Physical Review C 102(2020), 052802 (10.1103/PhysRevC.102.052802)
  • de Rojas, J.; Quintana, A.; Lopeandia, A. et al.
    Voltage‐driven motion of nitrogen ions: a new paradigm for magneto‐ionics
    Nature Communications 11(2020), 5871 (10.1038/s41467-020-19758-x)
  • Naik, H.; Kim, G. N.; Schwengner, R. et al.
    Photo-neutron cross-section of natDy in the bremsstrahlung end-point energies of 12, 14, 16, 65, and 75 MeV
    European Physical Journal A 56(2020), 264-1-264-12 (10.1140/epja/s10050-020-00268-9)
  • Saadatkia, P.; Agarwal, S.; Hernandez, A. et al.
    Point and extended defects in heteroepitaxial β-Ga2O3 films
    Physical Review Materials 4(2020), 104602 (10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.4.104602)
  • Mengoni, A.; Damone, L. A.; Barbagallo, M. et al.
    New reaction rates for the destruction of 7Be during big bang nucleosynthesis measured at CERN/n_TOF and their implications on the cosmological lithium problem
    European Physical Journal Web of Conferences 239(2020), 07001 (10.1051/epjconf/202023907001)
  • Chiaveri, E.; Aberle, O.; Alcayne, V. et al.
    Status and perspectives of the neutron time-of-flight facility n_TOF at CERN
    European Physical Journal Web of Conferences 239(2020), 17001 (10.1051/epjconf/202023917001)
  • Barbagallo, M.; Aberle, O.; Alcayne, V. et al.
    Measurement of the energy-differential cross-section of the 12C(n,p)12B and 12C(n,d)11B reactions at the n_TOF facility at CERN
    European Physical Journal Web of Conferences 239(2020), 01045 (10.1051/epjconf/202023901045)
  • Lerendegui-Marco, J.; Guerrero, C.; Mendoza, E. et al.
    Measurement of the 242Pu(n, γ) cross section from thermal to 500 keV at the Budapest research reactor and CERN n_TOF-EAR1 facilities
    European Physical Journal Web of Conferences 239(2020), 01019 (/10.1051/epjconf/202023901019)
  • Wilhelmy, J.; Müscher, M.; Rusev, G. et al.
    The dipole response of 87Rb and its impact on the 86Rb(n,γ)87Rb cross section
    Physical Review C 102(2020), 044327 (10.1103/PhysRevC.102.044327)
  • Elsherif, A. G. A.; Koehler, N.; Liedke, M. O. et al.
    Thermal kinetics of free volume in porous spin-on dielectrics: exploring the network- and pore-properties
    Microporous and Mesoporous Materials 308(2020), 110457 (10.1016/j.micromeso.2020.110457)
  • Melikhova, O.; Cížek, J.; Hruška, P. et al.
    Study of nanoscopic porosity in black metals by positron annihilation spectroscopy
    Acta Physica Polonica B 51(2020), 383 (10.5506/APhysPolB.51.383)
  • Hospodková, A.; Hájek, F.; Pangrác, J. et al.
    A secret luminescence killer in deepest QWs of InGaN/GaN multiple quantum well structures
    Journal of Crystal Growth 536(2020), 125579 (10.1016/j.jcrysgro.2020.125579)
  • de Rojas, J.; Quintana, A.; Lopeandía, A. et al.
    Boosting Room-Temperature Magneto-Ionics in a Non-Magnetic Oxide Semiconductor
    Advanced Functional Materials 30(2020)36, 2003704 (10.1002/adfm.202003704)
  • Agarwal, S.; Liedke, M. O.; Jones, A. C. L. et al.
    A New Mechanism for Void-Cascade Interaction from Non-destructive Depth-resolved Atomic-scale Measurements of Ion Irradiation-induced Defects in Fe
    Science Advances 6(2020)31, eaba8437 (10.1126/sciadv.aba8437)
  • Hoppe, C.; Mitschker, F.; Butterling, M. et al.
    Characterisation of micropores in plasma deposited SiOx films by means of positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy
    Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 53(2020), 47 (10.1088/1361-6463/aba8ba)
  • Wenskat, M.; Čižek, J.; Liedke, M. O. et al.
    Vacancy-Hydrogen Interaction in Niobium during Low-Temperature Baking
    Scientific Reports 10(2020), 8300 (10.1038/s41598-020-65083-0)
  • Prochazka, I.; Vlasak, T.; Cizek, J. et al.
    Quenched-in Vacancies and Hardening of Fe–Al Intermetallics
    Acta Physica Polonica A 137(2020), 255 (10.12693/APhysPolA.137.255)
  • Novotny, M.; Hruska, P.; Fitl, P. et al.
    Investigation of Optical Properties and Defects Structure of Rare Earth (Sm, Gd, Ho) Doped Zinc Oxide Thin Films Prepared by Pulsed Laser Deposition
    Acta Physica Polonica A 137(2020), 215 (10.12693/APhysPolA.137.215)
  • Eid, K.; Soliman, K. A.; Abdulmalik, D. et al.
    Tailored fabrication of iridium nanoparticle-sensitized titanium oxynitride nanotubes for solar-driven water splitting: Experimental insights on the photocatalytic-activity-defects relationship
    Catalysis Science & Technology 10(2020), 801 (10.1039/C9CY02366F)
  • Adamczewski-Musch, J.; Arnold, O.; Behnke, C. et al.
    Directed, elliptic and higher order flow harmonics of protons, deuterons and tritons in Au+Au collisions at sqrt(s_NN)=2.4 GeV
    Physical Review Letters 125(2020), 262301 (10.1103/PhysRevLett.125.262301)
  • Adamczewski-Musch, J.; Arnold, O.; Behnke, C. et al.
    Charged pion production in Au+Au collisions at sqrt(s_NN) = 2.4 GeV
    European Physical Journal A 56(2020), 259 (10.1140/epja/s10050-020-00237-2)
  • Mossa, V.; Stöckel, K.; Cavanna, F. et al.
    The baryon density of the Universe from an improved rate of deuterium burning
    Nature 587(2020), 210-213 (10.1038/s41586-020-2878-4)
  • Mossa, V.; Stöckel, K.; Cavanna, F. et al.
    Setup commissioning for an improved measurement of the D(p,gamma)3He cross section at Big Bang Nucleosynthesis energies
    European Physical Journal A 56(2020)5, 144 (10.1140/epja/s10050-020-00149-1)
  • Adamczewski-Musch, J.; Arnold, O.; Atomssa, E. T. et al.
    Two-Pion production in the second resonance region in π−p collisions with HADES
    Physical Review C 102(2020), 024001 (10.1103/PhysRevC.102.024001)
  • Waqar, A.; Cai-Qin, L.; Xu, C. et al.
    Ferromagnetism in Undoped ZnO Grown by Pulsed Laser Deposition
    Materials Research Express 7(2020), 056102 (10.1088/2053-1591/ab8c71)
  • Islam, M. M.; Liedke, M. O.; Winarski, D. et al.
    Chemical manipulation of hydrogen induced high p-type and n-type conductivity in Ga₂O₃
    Scientific Reports 10(2020), 6134 (10.1038/s41598-020-62948-2)
  • Rasadujjaman, M.; Wang, Y.; Zhang, L. et al.
    A detailed ellipsometric porosimetry and positron annihilation spectroscopy study of porous organosilicate-glass films with various ratios of methyl terminal and ethylene bridging groups
    Microporous and Mesoporous Materials 306(2020), 110434 (10.1016/j.micromeso.2020.110434)
  • Melikhova, O.; Čížek, J.; Hruška, P. et al.
    Microstructure and Nanoscopic Porosity in Black Pd Films
    Acta Physica Polonica A 137(2020), 222 (10.12693/APhysPolA.137.222)
  • Lukáč, F.; Hruška, P.; Cichoň, S. et al.
    Defects in Thin Layers of High Entropy Alloy HfNbTaTiZr
    Acta Physica Polonica A 137(2020), 219 (10.12693/APhysPolA.137.219)
  • More-Chevalier, J.; Horák, L.; Cichoň, S. et al.
    Positron Structural Analysis of ScN Films Deposited on MgO Substrate
    Acta Physica Polonica A 137(2020)2, 209-214 (10.12693/APhysPolA.137.209)
  • García-Valenzuela, A.; Butterling, M.; Liedke, M. O. et al.
    Positron annihilation analysis of nanopores and growth mechanism of oblique angle evaporated TiO₂ and SiO₂ thin films and multilayers
    Microporous and Mesoporous Materials 295(2020), 109968 (10.1016/j.micromeso.2019.109968)
  • Adamczewski-Musch, J.; Arnold, O.; Behnke, C. et al.
    Proton number fluctuations in sqrt(s_NN)= 2.4 GeV Au+Au collisions studied with HADES
    Physical Review C 102(2020), 024914 (10.1103/PhysRevC.102.024914)
  • Adamczewski-Musch, J.; Arnold, O.; Behnke, C. et al.
    Identical pion intensity interferometry at sqrt(s_NN)=2.4 GeV
    European Physical Journal A 56(2020), 140 (10.1140/epja/s10050-020-00116-w)
  • Junghans, A.; Beyer, R.; Claußner, J. et al.
    Neutron Transmission Measurements at nELBE
    European Physical Journal Web of Conferences 239(2020), 01006 (10.1051/epjconf/202023901006)
  • Grieger, M.; Hensel, T.; Agramunt, J. et al.
    Neutron flux and spectrum in the Dresden Felsenkeller underground facility studied by moderated He-3 counters
    Physical Review D 101(2020)102, 123027 (10.1103/PhysRevD.101.123027)
  • Röder, M.; Adachi, T.; Aksyutina, Y. et al.
    Coulomb dissociation of N-20,N-21
    Physical Review C 93(2016), 065807 (10.1103/PhysRevC.93.065807)
  • Petzoldt, J.; Römer, K. E.; Enghardt, W. et al.
    Characterization of the microbunch time structure of proton pencil beams at a clinical treatment facility
    Physics in Medicine and Biology 61(2016)6, 2432-2456 (10.1088/0031-9155/61/6/2432)
  • Roemer, K.; Pausch, G.; Bemmerer, D. et al.
    Characterization of scintillator crystals for usage as prompt gamma monitors in particle therapy
    Journal of Instrumentation 10(2015), P10033 (10.1088/1748-0221/10/10/P10033)
  • Depalo, R.; Cavanna, F.; Ferraro, F. et al.
    Strengths of the resonances at 436, 479, 639, 661, and 1279 keV in the 22Ne(p,γ)23Na reaction
    Physical Review C 92(2015), 045807 (10.1103/PhysRevC.92.045807)
  • Takács, M. P.; Bemmerer, D.; Szücs, T. et al.
    Constraining big bang lithium production with recent solar neutrino data
    Physical Review D 91(2015)12, 123526 (10.1103/PhysRevD.91.123526)
  • Szücs, T.; Bemmerer, D.; Caciolli, A. et al.
    Determination of gamma-ray widths in 15N using nuclear resonance fluorescence
    Physical Review C 92(2015), 014315 (10.1103/PhysRevC.92.014315)
  • Szücs, T.; Bemmerer, D.; Reinhardt, T. P. et al.
    Cosmic-ray induced background intercomparison with actively shielded HPGe detectors at underground locations
    European Physical Journal A 51(2015), 33 (10.1140/epja/i2015-15033-0)
  • Golnik, C.; Hueso-González, F.; Müller, A. et al.
    Range assessment in particle therapy based on prompt γ-ray timing measurements
    Physics in Medicine and Biology 59(2014), 5399-5422 (10.1088/0031-9155/59/18/5399)
  • Röder, M.; Elekes, Z.; Aumann, T. et al.
    Efficiency determination of resistive plate chambers for fast quasi-monoenergetic neutrons
    European Physical Journal A 50(2014), 112 (10.1140/epja/i2014-14112-0)
  • Anders, M.; Trezzi, D.; Menegazzo, R. et al.
    First direct measurement of the 2H(α,γ)6Li cross section at Big Bang energies and the primordial lithium problem
    Physical Review Letters 113(2014), 042501 (10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.042501)
  • Anders, M.; Trezzi, D.; Bellini, A. et al.
    Neutron induced by an α-beam incident on a deuterium gas target, and the background for a study of the 2H(α,γ)6Li reaction at LUNA
    European Physical Journal A 49(2013), 28 (10.1140/epja/i2013-13028-5)