Rare isotope facilities serve a critical need for a rapidly expanding area of nuclear physics research. Silicon-based detectors at existing facilities, however, already create limits in beam intensity and have trouble with counting rates. The ambitious plans and great success of high energy accelerators has led to a 3 orders-of-magnitude increase in luminosity in just 5 years. Silicon’s radiation tolerance falls short and in high radiation environments it requires cooling, limiting the locations where detectors can be placed. Clearly a challenge exists for particle detectors which will only worsen with time.
Diamond is one radiation tolerant technology which can operate without the assistance of a cooling system. Thin diamond detectors have proven counting rates of several GHz and provide sub-ns timing resolution. Thicker diamond detectors collect more charge performing with greater energy resolution. Diamond’s large lattice displacement energy and small cross section result in excellent radiation tolerance.