Master Thesis: Development of data acquisition electronics based on a highly integrated front-end readout chip

Jülich Research Centre (FZJ)

Jülich, Germany

Work group:

ZEA-2 – Systeme der Elektronik

Area of research:

Diploma & Master Thesis

Starting date:


Contract time limit:


Job description:

The Central Institute of Engineering, Electronics and Analytics – Electronic Systems (ZEA-2) is a scientific engineering institute of Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH performing research and development projects in close cooperation with the institutes of the research center as well as external partners. The focus of our work is electronic and information technology system solutions in sensor and detector technology, signal and data processing as well as measurement techniques. Hereby the preferred approach are highly integrated silicon-based System-on-Chip (SoC) solutions.

Project Description:In modern experimental particle physics and medical applications, various detector types play an important role in particle detection and identification. In the majority of cases, a sensing element of a detector is either a solid-state or a gaseous device generating an analog signal (e.g. a current pulse) as a response to a particle passage through its volume. Often these signals are similar and represent a fast transient, with very low amplitude, making their detection and processing a challenge. Our institute is currently involved in several data acquisition system (DAQ) development projects, where readout electronics for different detectors is being realized. For that purpose, a special front-end chip (Vulcan) has been designed and fabricated with the primary task to readout fast analog signals from various sensor types (e.g. PMTs, SiPMs). The chip functionality includes digitization of an input signal with speeds up to 1GS/s, first stages of data processing, input signal triggering, chip configuration using JTAG, and a 16-bit digital data output interface. In order to successfully build a DAQ system with this chip, it will be evaluated as a readout front-end for these sensors.

Your Tasks:In the framework of this project, a test system has to be developed to validate the Vulcan chip as a readout front-end electronics for a straw-tube based detector (a gaseous detector). First, the detector output signal has to be electrically matched to the input of the chip, and then readout of digitalized data from the front-end must be performed using a logic analyzer or an FPGA card. In addition, a PC software has to be implemented to program the front-end using JTAG, and collect digitized data from the hardware for further analysis and visualization. Data analysis will also be a part of this project.

Your Profile:

  • Knowledge of programming and data processing (e. g. MATLAB or C/C++)

  • Experience in laboratory equipment and test bench development

  • First experience in FPGA systems and µC programming (is a plus)

  • Willingness to teamwork is expected

Our Offer:

  • Opportunity to work together in a team of highly motivated scientists and technicians
  • Possibility to work on the whole development chain
  • Further development of your personal abilities in connection with a socially balanced work environment
  • Strongly supported on-the-job training at the start
  • A comprehensive further training program, including possible German language course

Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH aims to employ more women in this area and therefore particularly welcomes applications from women.

We also welcome applications from disabled persons.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: 2019M-080