Particle camera - logo of the detector

Medipix collaboration

A collaborative endeavour

Medipix collaboration logoThe Medipix2 collaboration was started with the aim of disseminating hybrid pixel detector technology from High Energy Physics to other fields. The collaboration was initially composed of 13 European research institutes. Over the ensuing 10 years the collaboration expanded to reach a peak of 17 member institutes. Although the main scientific focus has been the development of the Medipix2 and Timepix single photon counting pixel detector readout chips, the collaboration members have expanded the range of applications for the technology to many more scientific fields than initially foreseen.

Ongoing research

In 2005, the partnership was continued in an altered form to develop the third Medipix chip, a technically advanced version of the second chip. Unlike Medipix 2, Medipix 3 not only counts all of the photons but it also determines the energy level of each individual photon detected. This means that it will be possible, for example, to examine the cogs of a watch from behind its metal casing. This advanced version of the Medipix chip will radically improve the efficiency of X-ray imaging techniques by introducing colour imaging systems. This will lead to better discrimination of materials and tissues and an increased contrast of the images produced. Research is currently being done for example on ways to label cancer cells with pharmaceuticals with specific colours.

History of Medipix Collaboration

The activity started in the 90's when a small Collaboration of 4 institutes produced the Medipix1 or Photon Counting Chip (PCC) demonstrating the potential of the new technology to provide noise-free single photon counting.

At the end of the 1990's the Medipix2 Collaboration was formed with the aim of taking advantage of the potential of deep sub-micron CMOS to shrink the pixel size and to increase the number of pixels per chip. The Medipix2 chip is the outcome of that effort.

During the extensive characterisation of that chip we recognised that charge diffusion within the sensor ultimately limits the performance of the chip for small pixel sizes. With access to very deep sub-micron CMOS processes it is now possible to mitigate the effects of charge diffusion by allowing pixels to communicate with each other on an event-by-event basis. Moreover is becomes possible to integrate 2 counters on a single small pixel permitting one image to be taken while the previous one is being read out. This is what the Medipix3 Collaboration hopes to achieve.

Medipix: The Medipix Collaboration [online]. 2014 [cit. 2014-01-23]. Source:

Presentations about Medipix collaboration

Presentation 1: Collaboration and its detectors

Presentation 2: Basic information about particle detectors

  • Written by: Jablotron Alarms a.s.
  • Thursday, 23 January 2014