Radiation damage in the diamond based beam condition monitors of the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN

Moritz Guthoff, Konstantin Afanaciev, Anne Dabrowski, Wim De Boer, Wolfgang Lange, Wolfgang Lohmann, David Stickland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The Beam Condition Monitor (BCM) of the CMS detector at the LHC is a protection device similar to the LHC Beam Loss Monitor system. While the electronics used is the same, poly-crystalline Chemical Vapor Deposition (pCVD) diamonds are used instead of ionization chambers as the BCM sensor material. The main purpose of the system is the protection of the silicon Pixel and Strip tracking detectors by inducing a beam dump, if the beam losses are too high in the CMS detector. By comparing the detector current with the instantaneous luminosity, the BCM detector efficiency can be monitored. The number of radiation-induced defects in the diamond, reduces the charge collection distance, and hence lowers the signal. The number of these induced defects can be simulated using the FLUKA Monte Carlo simulation. The cross-section for creating defects increases with decreasing energies of the impinging particles. This explains, why diamond sensors mounted close to heavy calorimeters experience more radiation damage, because of the high number of low energy neutrons in these regions. The signal decrease was stronger than expected from the number of simulated defects. Here polarization from trapped charge carriers in the defects is a likely candidate for explaining the difference, as suggested by Transient Current Technique (TCT) measurements. A single-crystalline (sCVD) diamond sensor shows a faster relative signal decrease than a pCVD sensor mounted at the same location. This is expected, since the relative increase in the number of defects is larger in sCVD than in pCVD sensors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


  • Beam condition monitor
  • CMS
  • Diamond detector
  • Polarization
  • Radiation damage


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