Academic Year 2022/2023 - Teacher: DOMENICO LO PRESTI

Expected Learning Outcomes

Learning objectives

Il corso si propone di fornire allo studente gli elementi di base e una panoramica sullo stato dell’arte delle catene elettroniche associate a rivelatori di radiazioni e particelle: conoscenza delle architetture elettroniche per l’estrazione ottimale delle informazioni prodotte nei rivelatori; Criteri di progetto dell’elettronica di front-end e della caratterizzazione dei rivelatori; metodologie di indagine utilizzate per lo studio del funzionamento dei circuiti elettronici e dei risultati delle misure.

The course aims to provide the student with the basic elements and an overview of the state of the art of electronic chains associated with radiation and particle detectors: knowledge of electronic architectures for the optimal extraction of the information produced in the detectors; Project criteria for front-end electronics and detector characterization; methodologies used to study the operation of electronic circuits and measurement results.

knowledge and understanding

Understanding of the main phenomena that determine electronic noise. Knowledge of the methods for the optimization of the noise signal ratio. Time and charge measures. Analog-digital conversion. Programmable logic. Electronic simulators and test equipment. Calculation programs for automatic analysis of results.

Applying knowledge and understanding

Ability to identify essential blocks of an electronic chain associated with a detector. Ability to simulate and verify the operation of electronic circuits. Ability to build automated testing and analysis platforms. Ability to use tools to apply solutions to new problems (problem solving) and in different contexts.

Communication skills

Communication skills in detectors and associated electronics.

Learning skills.

Acquisition of appropriate cognitive tools for the continuous updating of knowledge and the ability to access specialized literature in the field of electronics associated with detectors.

Course Structure

Should the circumstances require online or blended teaching, appropriate modifications to what is hereby stated may be introduced, in order to achieve the main objectives of the course.

Lectures are conducted in the classroom using a multimedia board to allow interactivity with the students and the integration of the teaching material.

During the lessons, the students can intervene for questions or in-depth analysis. In the final part of each lesson, the teacher carries out a sample check of the learning level and introduces the contents of the following class.

Learning assessment may also be carried out on line, should the conditions require it.

Required Prerequisites

Attendance of the course is usually compulsory (consult the Academic Regulations of the Course of Studies)

Attendance of Lessons

Attendance both to classroom lessons and to laboratory sessions is usually compulsory.

Attendance signatures are collected during lessons and laboratory practice.

Classroom lessons are normally held twice a week, 2 hours each lesson.


Prof. Lo Presti receives on Mondays from 10 to 11 and on Thursdays from 10 to 11; however, it is advisable to contact the teacher in advance to verify that institutional or personal commitments do not force him to postpone the reception for a specific day.

Detailed Course Content

Course contents

Signal theory. Physics of electronic devices. Outline of the detection mechanisms, simplified model of the detector. Electronic noise, measurement strategies. Optimisation of the signal-to-noise ratio and influence in the time, charge, energy, and hit measurements. Voltage, current and charge amplifiers. The preamplifier, the shaper, signal shaping and signal-to-noise ratio. Transmission lines in the time domain, ideal and lossy lines. The SPICE simulator. Sampling and analogue-to-digital conversion (ADC). The programmable logic. Introduction to the strategies for the acquisition and automatic analysis of results.

Textbook Information

The handouts will be available in the shared directory on Microsoft Teams platform at the link:


Reference Textbook

1) H. Spieler, Semiconductor Detector Systems, Oxford Science Publications;

2) Bolognesi - Tecnologia dei semiconduttori - Zanichelli - 1965;

3) Calzolari, Graffi - Elementi di elettronica - Zanichelli- 1984;

4) Massobrio - Modelli dei Dispositivi a Semiconduttore - Angeli - 1986;

5) Millman - Circuiti e Sistemi Microelettronici - Boringheri - 1985.

H. SpielerSemiconductor Detector SystemOxford Science Publications20050198527845, 9780198527848
Bolognesi Tecnologia dei semiconduttoriZanichelli1965
Calzolari, GraffiElementi di elettronicaZanichelli19848808001288
Massobrio Modelli dei Dispositivi a Semiconduttore in SPICEAngeli 19869788820444006
Millman Circuiti e Sistemi MicroelettroniciBoringheri 19858833950026,‎ 978-8833950020

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1Signals, Systems and Operators(3h)lecture notes, ref. 3
2Signal Theory(4h)lecture notes, ref. 3
3Circuit elements in electronics network(4h)lecture notes, ref. 3
4Transmission lines(3h)lecture notes, ref. 3
5Physics of Electronic devices(4h)lecture notes, ref. 1,2
6Bipolar transistors and biasing schemes(4h)lecture notes, ref. 5
7Operational amplifiers, (4h)lecture notes, ref. 3,5
8Scintillating detectors(4h)lecture notes
9Solid state photomultipliers(4h)lecture notes
10Detector Front-end and read-out electronic chains(6h)lecture notes, ref. 1
11Analogue-Digital conversion(2h)lecture notes, ref. 1,3


Learning Assessment Procedures

Learning verification

Learning verification can also be carried out electronically, regardless of the conditions.

The criteria adopted for the evaluation are: 

the relevance of the answers to the questions asked, 

the level of in-depth analysis of the contents presented, 

the ability to connect with other topics covered by the program and with cases already acquired in previous years' courses, 

the ability to report examples, language properties and expository clarity.

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

A list of frequently asked questions for the oral exam, which is not exhaustive, is:

  • Description of the transistor effect and polarization schemes. 
  • Optimization of the signal to noise ratio referred to the electronic acquisition chain for a detector. 
  • Transmission lines in the time domain. 
  • Configurations for operational amplifiers. 
  • Mechanisms of electronic noise generation. 
  • Direct and indirect radiation detection. 
  • Analog-digital conversion.