doe infn


DOE-INFN Summer Exchange Program for 2014

13th Edition


INFN - Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati

Founded in 1955, the Frascati National Laboratories (LNF) are the oldest and largest laboratories of INFN, the Italian agency devoted to fundamental research in nuclear and subnuclear physics. The LNF cover an area of 140000 m2 and are located about 20 km from the centre of Rome. They can be easily reached by car, by plane (two international airports), by bus and by train. Research activities in the LNF are pursued in all major INFN areas of interest: Particle Physics, Astroparticle Physics, Nuclear Physics, Theoretical Physics and Detector Physics.
Several groups are participating in experimental programs in collaboration with US institutions.
In particular the following groups have expressed their interest in the 2014 edition of the Summer Exchange Program and they invite US students to join their research activities: ATLAS, CMS, ETRUSCO-GMES, G-2, MoonLIGHT-2, MU2E, Nano Technologies. Candidates must be enrolled as students at a US University and must have begun, at the time of application, at least the third year of a US University curriculum in physics, engineering or computing science. They can join a team at the LNF for 2 months between June 1st and October 31st, 2014. For further details refer to the Summer Exchange Program homepage. Opportunities include participation in physics analysis, activities of running experiments as well as involvement in detector developments.

The Frascati Laboratories will be closed from August 11th to August 15th.

The 9 available positions at Frascati are the following:

2 Positions: ATLAS

Title: Calibration and monitoring of a large area cosmic ray test stand
Tutor: G. Maccarrone (

Description: A large area cosmic ray test stand facility is located in the Gran Sasso hall at LNF. It was originally designed for the test of the ATLAS muon chambers (MDT). A fully instrumented MDT chamber is hooked to a couple of rails that allow it to roll in and out. A second MDT, on top of the first one, could be instrumented  and used to increase tracking precision. Below the lower MDT chamber, a table  is free to roll on the rails to easy the detector posistioning. Plastic scintillators are used for triggering: three pairs are mounted below the table; four pairs are  placed on ground, below 30 cm of iron used for screening from low-momentum muons. The MDT chamber has been calibrated reconstructing cosmic-ray tracks.  The spatial resolution is not yet optimal since sag correction is needed to center the anode wire inside the tube. The project consists in helping in put  into operation the ATLAS rasnik system and  to apply this correction. A final calibration will be performed after the rasnik correction and a monitoring system will be developed. 
Recommended period:  June 1st - July 31th

Title: Test of Micromegas prototypes for the ATLAS nSW upgrade
Tutor: C. Gatti (

Description: The upgrade program for LHC is under study with the aim to increase the luminosity by a factor of 10. The present detectors of ATLAS have been designed according to the rates expected at the nominal LHC luminosity. Fig. 1 shows the expected counting rates in the ATLAS Muon chambers. With the luminosity upgrade of LHC, the rate of prompt muons and the background of photons and neutrons will increase proportionally. In these conditions, an upgrade of the present muon chambers in the End-cap inner and middle muon wheels, the latter for rapidity ? > 2, will be needed. For their replacement, muon chambers based on the Micromegas technology that combine precision measurement and triggering capability in the same detector have been chosen for precision tracking and eventually for triggering. Our lab has been chosen as one of the production sites. First assembling tests are ongoing. Three 10 ? 10cm2 MicroMegas prototypes have been built and five 80 x 80 cm2 prototypes  (both a single chamber a quadruplet) are under construction. Several studies have to be performed on efficiency, resolution and calibrations using cosmic ray data and test beam data at the BTF.

Recommended period:  June 1st - July 31th 2014.


1 position: ETRUSCO-GMES

Title: ETRUSCO-GMES R&D project of INFN-CSN5
Tutors: Dr. Simone Dell'Agnello ( and/or Claudio Cantone (

Description: The 2013 goal of ETRUSCO-GMES (Extra Terrestrial Ranging to Unified Satellite Constellations – Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) consist in the development and the characterization of the space performance of next-generation laser retroreflector arrays for the mm-precision orbit determination of Earth Observation (EO) satellites of GMES, a flagship space program of the European Union renamed Copernicus for HORIZON2020) and for Galileo, the European Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and the other, and  most important, space flagship program of the EU. This orbit determination is achieved through Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR), a laser-pulse time-of-flight measurement, in absolute terms, that is, with respect to the International Terrestrial Reference System (ITRS, defined by geodetic techniques: SLR, VLBI, GNSS, DORIS, etc). SLR is managed by the International Laser Ranging service (ILRS), with which the SCF_Lab is tightly integrated (
Our activity takes place at the world-unique infrastructure owned by INFN-LNF, the SCF_Lab (Satellite/lunar/GNSS laser ranging and altimetry Characterization Facilities’ Laboratory), which includes two laser retroreflector characterization facilities (SCF and SCF-G) operated in a dedicated clean room of class 10000 or better. The characterization of retroreflector space performance (SCF-Test) consists in the concurrent and integrated measurement and modelling of the detailed thermal behaviour and the optical performance of cube corner GNSS Retroreflector Arrays (GRAs) in representative space conditions. Optical measurements include far field diffraction pattern and Fizeau interferometry. Temperature measurements include the use of infrared camera and contact probes. The SCF_Lab is also equipped with two AM0 close-match solar simulators.
GNSS Constellations and agencies for which we work are: Galileo/ESA-ASI, IRNSS/ISRO, GPS/NASA. For EO we work with the Italian Ministry of Defense.
The student will participate in: SCF-Test & data analysis of the new GRA for Galileo & GPS-3, funded by ASI & INFN; and/or analysis of SLR data from existing GNSS constellations (including Galileo IOV, GPS-2), and/or LLR; and/or LAGEOS.


Main references:

  1. Creation of the new industry-standard space test of laser retroreflectors for GNSS and LAGEOS, S. Dell’Agnello, G.O. Delle Monache, D.G. Currie, R. Vittori, C. Cantone, M. Garattini, A. Boni, M. Martini, C. Lops, N. Intaglietta, R. Tauraso, D.A. Arnold, M.R. Pearlman, G. Bianco, S. Zerbini, M. Maiello, S. Berardi, L. Porcelli, C.O. Alley, J.F. McGarry, C. Sciarretta, V. Luceri, T.W. Zagwodzki, J. Adv. Space Res. 47 (2011) 822–842.
  2. ETRUSCO-2: An ASI-INFN project of technological development and “SCF-Test” of GNSS laser Retroreflector Arrays, S. Dell’Agnello et al, 3rd International Colloquium - Scientific and Fundamental Aspects of the Galileo Programme, Copenhagen, Denmark (2011).
  3. SCF_Lab brochure:

Recommended period: June-July or September-October 2014.


1 position: MoonLIGHT-2

Title: E MoonLIGHT-2 experiment of INFN-CSN2
Tutors: Simone Dell’Agnello ( and/or Giovanni Delle Monache (

Description: The goal of MoonLIGHT-2 (Moon Laser Instrumentation for General relativity High-accuracy Tests for the International Lunar Network – Phase 2) is the development and space characterization of 2nd generation laser retroreflectors for the sub-mm-precision orbit determination of the Moon through a laser-pulse time-of-flight measurement, in order to achieve a high-accuracy test of General Relativity and new theories of gravity. This discipline, called Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR), started 40 years ago, when the Apollo and Lunokhod missions deployed retroreflectors on the surface of the Moon. LLR data are freely available and provide the best overall test of General Relativity with a single experiment (weak and strong equivalence principle, PPN parameter beta, geodetic precession, deviations from the inverse-square law, time variation of the gravitational constant G, extensions of General Relativity). The experiment is an international collaboration between Italian and US institutions. The latter include: the University of Maryland at College Park (UMD), which was Principal Investigator of the 1st generation retroreflectors; the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, MA, USA (CfA), which has developed the powerful Planetary Ephemeris Program capable (among many other things) of accurately tracking the Moon orbit; the University of California at San Diego, CA, USA (UCSD), which leads the best LLR station, located in USA, called APOLLO (Apache Point Observatory LLr Operation; The ILN is a concept study for a lunar geophysical network of four instruments (seismometer, laser retroreflector, thermal heat probe and electromagnetic sounder) promoted by Space Agencies of nine countries, including NASA and ASI (see See also  (

The student will participate in the: (1) thermal-optical-vacuum test and data analysis of the new payload funded by INFN and NASA (which funds Prof. D. Currie at UMD), at the world-unique INFN-LNF SCF_Lab infrastructure (Satellite/lunar/GNSS laser ranging and altimetry Characterization Facilities Laboratory); and/or (2) analysis of LLR data acquired from existing Apollo/Lunokhod payloads for precision gravity tests (with CfA – J. Chandler et al; UCSD – T. Murphy et al). Another major SCF_Lab activity is the SCF-Test of LAGEOS, the Laser GEOdynamics Satellites (with NASA-GSFC – S. Merkowitz at al).


Main references:

  1. A Lunar Laser Ranging Retroreflector Array for the 21st Century, D. Currie, S. Dell’Agnello, G. Delle Monache, Acta Astron. 68, 667– 680 (2011).
  2. SCF_Lab brochure:

Recommended period:: June-July or September-October


1 position: NanoElectromagnetics

Title: NanoElectromagnetics (microwave/RF/photonics)
Stefano Bellucci (

Description: We have experience in the frequency (energy)/time-domain full-wave multiphysics modeling of the combined electromagnetic-coherent transport problem in carbon-based (graphene, CNT) nano-structured materials and devices. The core concept is that while the advancement of research in this area heavily depends on the progress of manufacturing technology, still, the global modeling of multi-physics phenomena at the nanoscale is crucial to its development. Modeling, in turn, provides the appropriate basis for design. The bridge between nanosciences and the realized circuits can be achieved by using the panoply of microwave/RF engineering at our disposal.
From the theoretical models and techniques, we produced efficient software for the analysis and design. In our models, the quantum transport is described by the Schrödinger
equation or its Dirac-like counterpart, for small energies. The electromagnetic field provides sources terms for the quantum transport equations that, in turn, provide charges and currents for the electromagnetic field. In the frequency-domain, a rigorous Poisson-coherent transport equation system is provided, including electrostatic sources (bias potentials). Interesting results involve new concept-devices, such as Graphene-Nano-Ribbon (GNR) nano-transistors and multipath/multilayer GNR circuits, where charges are ballistically scattered among different ports under external electrostatic control. Further examples are given by the simulation of cold-cathodes for field emission based on graphene and by the analysis of optical emission/absorption by single or few layers GNR. Our work on the model of the graphene/CNT-metal transition and related equivalent circuits models, aims also to the inclusion of thermal effects in graphene/CNT, e.g. as deriving from ballistic path reduction due to phonon scattering and as arising at the contact between graphene and silicon dioxide.
In the time-domain, we now avail a novel Schrödinger/Dirac-based transmission line matrix (TLM) solver for the self-consistent analysis of the electromagnetic-coherent transport dynamics in realistic environments. It is highlighted that the self-generated electromagnetic field may affect the dynamics (group velocity, kinetic energy etc.) of the quantum
transport. This is particularly important in the analysis of time transients and in the describing the behavior of high energy carrier bands, as well as the onset of non-linear phenomena due to impinging external electromagnetic fields. We are now capable of modelling THz carbon-based emitters/detectors, CNT-enabled traveling wave (TW-CNT) devices, and the carbon-metal transition; we are exploiting novel properties and devices based on frequency multiplication, graphene gyrotropic effects, photoconductive effects.
The Student's activity we will be focusing on:

  • Multiphysics Schrödinger/Dirac-based modeling of the electromagnetic-coherent transport phenomena of the graphene/CNT devices. Microwave and Terahertz circuit characterization stemming from the above analysis in a form suitable for design.
  • Models of the graphene/CNT-metal transition. Their equivalent
    circuits models.
  • Inclusion of thermal effects in graphene/CNT (e.g. the contact between graphene and silicon dioxide). Their circuit models in system characterization.
  • Characterization and validation of electromagnetic/quantum-mechanics properties of carbon nanostructures.
  • Electromagnetic characterization of carbon-based foams. Shielding EM interference in chaotic environments.

Recommended period: June-July or September-October 2014.

1 position: NEXT - Carbon-lines

Title: Carbon-lines: modellization and characterization of innovative electronic nano-interconnections in graphene and carbon nanotubes
Tutor: Stefano Bellucci (

Description: Aims of the research: analyzing certain properties connected to the electrical transport in graphene or carbon nanotubes interconnections, with particular regard to the electrical conductivity. Such materials are very promising for nanoelectronics applications, owing to their excellent electrical, thermal and mechanical characteristics, and their possible use for the realization of nano-interconnections for integrated circuits and transistors has been recently demonstrated, thanks to the realization of examples of prototype devices. Such a perspective, made it especially important to boost the modeling and characterization
activity of such materials. Starting from the experience of the NEXT Nanotechnology Team at the INFN-Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati connected to the electromagnetic and circuita modellization of such structures, the research will investigate the electrical conductivity of graphene ribbons and nanoplatelets, as well as that of carbon nanotubes, with reference to the effects of chirality, the possible presence of an electrical field, the boundary conditions and the contacts. Such an analysis will be carried out in the conditions expected for next generations electrical interconnections in integrate circuits (14 nm or 10 nm technologies), namely low bias conditions and frequencies up to hundreds of GHz.
Expected results:
- designing and realizing an experimental setup suitable for measuring the electrical conductivity of samples made by graphene ribbons or nanoplatelets, or by carbon nanotube bundles, up to 18 GHz
- proposal, extension and experimental validation of models of electrical conductivity
- outlook for possible future modeling and electromagnetic characterization activity of interconnections based on graphene or carbon nanotubes in the non-linear regime and in the THz range.

Recommended period: June-July 2014.

1 position: MU2E project

Title: Characterization of a LYSO matrix prototype
Tutors: Fabio Happacher (, Simona Giovannella (

Description: The R&D phase of the calorimeter for the MU2E experiment is in an advanced phase. The construction of a prototype with 25 crystals of LYSO readout readout by large area APD is completed. All crystals have been characterized in the Crystal QA station with a Na22 source. Also transmittance tests have been done. The prototype is being dressed with a prototype version of the preamplifiers and of the voltage system.

We are now testing the prototype by carrying out:
1) Noise runs. To characterize the single channel noise and the correlated noise of the system under different running conditions and photosensor gains.
2) Laser runs. Single fused silica fibers, coming from a light distribution system with in input a green pulsed Laser, illuminate the APDs and are used to set the gain and the timing resolution limit of the system.
3) Cosmic Ray runs. One/two days long data taking allow to determine the calibration peak of the minimum ionizing particle to 0.5%. Test of stability, correlations and timing resolution are proposed.

After the summer we will expose the matrix for 1 week at a tagged photon beam of the MAMI facility in Germany.
Study of the energy, time and position resolution in different configurations will be performed.

The student will be inserted in the group activity and will help in the characterization, in the DB organization and in the offline analysis of the acquired data both with the preparation data taking and with the test beam data.

1 Position: G-2

Title: Test of the calibration system for the New Muon G-2 experiment.
Tutor: Graziano Venanzoni (

Description: The New Muon G-2 experiment (E989) at Fermilab aims to measure the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon with an improved experimental uncertainty by a factor of 4 with respect to the previous E821 experiment at BNL (i.e. at 0.14 ppm). Within the experiment, the Italian group is focusing on the monitoring of the performance of the 24 electromagnetic calorimeters. To this aim a high-precision online calibration system is going to be implemented via a LASER and an optical system able to provide reference signals to the calorimeters.
The Frascati Group is in charge of the design of the laser distribution system and monitoring electronics.
The student will contribute to both activities, by participating to the tests of the distribution system and to the development of the electronic board for the monitoring system.

Recommended period: June-July or September-October 2014.

1 Position: CMS

Title: GEM timing studies for the CMS high eta region upgrade
Tutors: Luigi Benussi (

Description: Muon detection is of paramount importance in the CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. An extensive upgrade project of the muon detector in the high- pseudo-rapidity (1.6<|η|<2.1) region is in progress. The Gas Electron Multiplier (GEM) technique was chosen. GEMs provide excellent efficiency, space and time resolution, and are well suited to withstand high track densities and high radiation.
The Frascati CMS group is doing studies on small GEM prototype in order to optimize and possibly improve the timing response of the GEM detector. Such tests are done using a 10X10 triple GEM chamber with the aim to study the time response with different gas mixtures with very low Global Warming Potential (GWP) and also to study the optimisation of the GEM foil distances to improve the timing performances. It will be done also a fully characterization of the gas mixtures in term of gas gain and detector efficiency using radioactive source, cosmic rays and X-ray guns.

Recommend period: June-July or September-October 2014.

The application form is available on the Summer Exchange Program homepage.



Administration and Logistic:
Luisa Bontempi (Administration Office)
Patrizia Fioretti (Personnel Office)
Gianluca Dalla Vecchia (Visitor's Office)

Scientific coordination:
Catalina Curceanu (coordinator)
M. Cristina D'Amato (secretary)
Phone +39-06-94032373

author: mcd