The DAMA Instrumentation Laboratory

The DAMA Laboratory is located in the ground floor of the INPP Tandem building and occupies an area of about 60 m2. The main infrastructure is shown below:


  • Gas distribution,

  • Electronics Racks with NIM modules, HV modules, preamplifiers, amplifiers etc

  • Oscilloscopes

  • Workstations

  • Radioactive sources

GAS MIXER and distribution of premixed gases


  • VME Data Acquisition (CAEN controller, optical fiber connection

  • CRAMS, sequencer, ADC unit, Gate generator, etc)

  • SRS – Scalable Readout System (APV FE, 2000 channels readout)

  • FEMINOS readout for TPC mode

  • Electronics: Racks (1 VME and 4 NIM crates), NIM units

  • (Multifunction NIM modules, Amplifiers, Discrim., HV, LV PS

  • Pulse generators, NIM/ TTL/ NIM converter etc), MCAs (2), Preamps


  • Electronics design packages

  • Finite Element Analysis

  • DAQ software (Labview, C++)

  • FPGA (Altera, Xilinx) design workstations

  • FPGA Design platforms


  • (12 m2 – two rooms Class 10,000 and Class 100,000)

  • Microscope

DAMA Current Research Activities

The INPP/ATLAS group activities

As agreed in the ATLAS  CB, areas the group is expected to contribute are:

  • Taking over part of the NSW L1DDC and ADDC electronics card testing, including setup and development of the needed test benches;
  • NSW Micromegas integration at CERN;
  • Long term maintenance for micromegas detectors and electronics after the NSW installation
  • Provision and maintenance of monitoring/data quality software for the NSW

The INPP_ATLAS group became member of the Muon Project in the IB, August 2017.
INPP participated in the MAMMA (Muon ATLAS MicroMegas Activity) collaboration from the very beginning together with the groups of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), the University of Athens, the University of Thessaloniki, CEA Saclay and CERN. We have organized the beam tests at the Institute’s Tandem accelerator and worked on the problem of discharges of the Micromegas detectors. The resistive Micromegas solution was further studied at the SPS/CERN beam tests in the framework of the MAMMA collaboration. We have produced common papers of those tests, four of which are listed at the end of this letter [1, 2, 3, 4]. In 2013 we have organized the VMM1 asic (Micromegas FE chip) neutron irradiation in order to study the SEUs. The work was performed under our supervision at INPP, over a period of six months for the firmware development and was part of a PhD thesis work. This study suggested the proper modifications to the VMM design in order to cope with the non negligible measured SEU rate [5].

Recently, the INPP_ATLAS group organized in collaboration with NTUA the neutron irradiation tests of the VMM3 and the other electronic cards in Tandem accelerator at INPP during two campaigns in May and in July 2017. Work also has started to install test bench setups.
Qualification work for G. Fanourakis, T. Geralis and G. Stavropoulos

In order to become authors of the ATLAS publications the members of the group, in agreement with the NSW project convener Stephanie Zimmerman, have undertaken specific tasks:

1) Build test bench setup for the ADDC cards testing, based on the VC707 Xilinx platform and connect to the Freibourg database for the logging of the massive testing (qualification of one person)
2) Build a DAQ slice: MMFE8 – L1DDC – VC709 – PC (specific), so called mini-Felix in the lines of the final Felix ATLAS version (qualification for two person

[1] Performances of Anode-resistive Micromegas for HL-LHC. J. Manjarres et al. J. Manjarres, T. Alexopoulos, D. Attie, M.Boyer, J. Derre, G. Fanourakis, E. Ferrer-Ribas, J. Galan, E. Gazis, T. Geralis, A. Giganon, I. Giomataris, S. Herlant, F. Jeanneau, Ph. Schune, M. Titov, G. Tsipolitis, for the MAMMA Collaboration, JINST 7 (2012) C03040
[2] Performances and ageing study of resistive-anodes Micromegas detectors for HL-LHC environment. F. Jeanneau, et al. e-Print: arXiv:1201.1843
[3] Micromegas study for the sLHC environment. T. Alexopoulos, et al., JINST 5:P02003,2010,.
[4] Study of a micromegas chamber in a neutron beam. T. Alexopoulos, et al., JINST 5:P02005,2010,.
[5] Study of the VMM1 read-out chip in a neutron irradiation environment, T. Alexopoulos, G. Fanourakis, T. Geralis, M. Kokkoris, A. Kourkoumeli-Charalambidi, K. Papageorgiou, G. Tsipolitis, JINST 11 (2016) no.05, P05015.

Resistive Bulk Micromegas for High Rate applications

Collaboration: NCSR Demokritos, LAPP Annecy, CEA Saclay

Detector operation at very high rates is required by experiments in future accelerators like the High Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC), the International Linear Colliders (ILC) or in the Future Circular Collider (FCC). They can be used in high granularity Particle Flow (PF) hadron calorimeters with small thickness at ultra high rates thanks to their discharge quenching. They are also good candidates for operation at high eta at the HL-LHC where they can withstand rates of 10s of MHz/cm2.

Our R&D has proven the excellent linearity for the buried resistor technique as well as their excellent behavior concerning spark quenching. The figure shows the model of the buried resistor technique. The photo shows the irradiation setup in DAMA Lab for the linearity tests of the detector.

Further development is performed in the frame of the RD51 Common Fund project “Sampling Calorimetry with Resistive Anode MPGDs” – SCREAM. It is a collaboration of six institutions: LAPP Annecy, Weizmann Institute of Science, INPP/NCSR Demokritos, CEA/IRFU Saclay, University of Aveiro and University of Coimbra aiming to develop MPGD technologies appropriate for hadron sampling calorimeters for the ILC but will also provide valuable tests for the operation of MPGDs at very high rates.


  • M. Chefdeville et al., Test in a beam of large area Micromegas chambers for sampling calorimetry, NIMA 763 (2014) 221231.
  • M. Chefdeville, T. Geralis, M. Titov, Resistive Micromegas for sampling calorimetry, a study of space charge effect, Proceedings of Elba proceedings, Nucl.Instrum.Meth. A824(2016) 510-511.
  • Resistive Micromegas for sampling calorimetry, a study of charge-up effects
    M. Chefdeville, Y. Karyotakis, T. Geralis, M. Titov. 2016. 2 pp.
    Published in Nucl.Instrum.Meth. A824 (2016) 510-511
  • T. Geralis et al., ‘Development of resistive anode Micromegas for sampling calorimetry’, Proceedings of the MPGD2015 conference in EPJ Web of Conf., 174, 01017 (2018).

Real x-y Segmented Mesh Microbulk Micromegas

Collaboration of INPP/NCSR Demokritos, CEA/IRFY Saclay, University of Zaragoza and CERN.

The Aim of the project is to develop microbulk Micromegas detectors with real x-y structure by segmenting the mesh. The old fashioned way to provide x and y information was a complicated pcb structure with pads on the anode surface and through metalized holes in order to form conductive y strips on a layer beneath the anode. The manufacturing procedure was difficult and fragile with the disadvantage of higher material budget. The new manufacturing process is simpler and leads to mass minimization, which is adequate for rare searches applications but also for neutron beam profilers. Our group proposed and coordinated the effort on the optimization and the design of the Real x-y segmented mesh microbulk Micromegas, which was supported by the RD51 Common Fund.

The performance for the energy resolution is impressive and reaches an optimum for a gaseous detector of 11% FWHM at 5.9 keV (see figure).

Real x-y segmented mesh microbulk Micromegas is very adequate for Rare searches like axion or dark matter thanks to the very low background that can be achieved (~ 10-7 cnts/keV/cm2/s) with its low material budget and additional measures like, low radioactivity shielding, cosmic veto etc.

It is already used in the nTOF collaboration for a neutron beam profiler with excellent results. This is the thinnest neutron detector ever manufactured with only 5 μm + 5 μm of Cu and the remaining polyimide in betwwen the x and y foils.


  • T. Geralis et al. ‘A real x-y Microbulk Micromegas with segmented mesh’, PoS (TIPP2014)055.

  • M. Diakaki et al., ‘A novel segmented mesh Micromegas detector development for neutron beam profiling’, Submitted to NIMA.

Micromegas Using micro fabrication Techniques and Graphene

Collaboration: INPP/NCSR Demokritos, INN/NCSR Demokritos

Our primary goal and ambition is to build a Micromegas detector operating with two different gases in the conversion volume and the amplification volume. This idea and the progress towards this goal was presented by our group for a first time at the MPGD2015 in Trieste.