Liquid Argon Lab


In this lab, you will

  •   Build a photon detector using a cryogenic chamber housing a Silicon Photomultiplier (SiPM).
  • Read out liquid argon (LAr) scintillation light using the detector.

with the following aims:

  • Get hands on experience with vacuum and cryogenic systems.
  • Be familiar with noble liquid scintillators and photodetectors.
  • Deal with signal readout and preliminary processing (LabView).
  • Data analysis of the amplitude/area spectra of SiPM signals.


An overview of the lab activities can be found here.  , and detailed lab instructions can be found here.

This zip file contains:

  • LArAnalysis.ipynb: The Jupyter Lab analysis file
  • labDay5_pt1_lowArea_areas_06282022.csv:  Data taken from 137-Cs source, using LabView
  • labDay5_pt1_lowArea_avg_wf_06282022.csv: Same, but with waveform averaged.

Lab Kit Inventory

The lab kit contains the following:

SiPM Electronics

  • Oscilloscope
    NIM Crate with the following modules:

    •   Fan in / Fan out with inverter
    • X10 linear amplifier
  • Power Supply (must ramp up to at least 60 V)
  • 5 lemo cables, 5 bnc to lemo adapters, 1 banana to bnc adapter
  • 1 USB-b to USB-a cable (connects oscilloscope to computer)

RTD Readout

  • 1 Arduino (should already be equipped with wiring) with temperature to signal adapter
  • 1 Adafruit MAX31865 (should already be properly wired) 2 bnc cables
  • 1 usb-b to usb-a cable (connects Arduino to computer)


  • 1 windows computer that is equipped with:
    •  Arduino readout software
    • LabVIEW program to collect data from oscilloscope


Argon Handling

  • 1 cryostat (should already house 2 SiPMs (that share a readout) and 1 temperature sensor inside)
  • 1 t-slot structure for supporting the cryostat
  • 1 metal dewar for housing cryostat
  • 1 research grade argon gas cylinder (with regulator)
  • 1 liquid argon dewar (e.g. a 230 L dewar from Praxair/Linde)
  • 1 roughing + turbo pump station
  • 1 flexible KF hose (pump to crystat)
  • 1 flexible VCR hose (gas cylinder to detector)
  • Miscellaneous vacuum supplies: VCR gaskets, KF clamps and o- rings, CF gaskets, alcohol (for cleaning), gloves, kimwipes