Construction of the Time Projection Chamber in ALICE at LHC 

Coordinating university: Lund University, 

Project description 
The ALICE Experiment (see figure) at LHC at CERN is designed to study collisions between Heavy nuclei at extremely high energy, a new state of matter named Quark Gluon Plasma is created where protons and neutrons do not exist but their constituents, quarks and gluons form a large volume system like in the first millionth of a second of the Big Bang. Several thousand particles are produced when the plasma expands and cools off. The ALICE experiment with its ca 1000 collaborators is designed to measure these. The main subdetector is the TPC, which records the track of ionized atoms due to passing charged particles. The TPC is read out with about 500 000 electronic channels. Each channel is a preamp/shaper 10 bit sampling ADC and 1000 samples memory. Half a million channels of digital oscilloscope in simple words. The Lund group covered prototyping and fabrication of the digital ASIC, performed robotic testing and calibration of 100000 ASICs and Manufactured 5000 circuit boards together with NOTE AB in Lund.   

Lund University:

  • Hans Åke Gustafsson, Professor, physicist, project leader, detector expert

  • Anders Oskarsson, Professor, physicist, deputy project leader, detector expert

  • Lennart Österman, Research engineer, electronics, specification, circuit board design and board layout, CAD, R&D, robotic ASIC testing, quality control

Core deliverables

  • Prototyping and fabrication of ALTRO ASIC (ST microelectronics)

  • Robotic testing of 50000 ALTRO ADC chips (in house)

  • Robotic testing of 50000 PASA (preamp-shaping amplifier ASIC) (in house)

  • Assembly of 5000 Front End boards (NOTE) 

  • Industry involvement


Total budget
EUR 2,1 million 


  • Lund University


  • GSI Darmstadt

  • University Frankfurt

  • University of Heidelberg


Procurement codes

  • Electronics and radio frequency

  • Particle and photon detectors