The European Physical Journal A, February 2014, 50:47
The goal of the FAZIA Collaboration is the design of a new-generation 4π detector array for heavy-ion collisions with radioactive beams. This article summarizes the main results of the R&D phase, devoted to the search for significant improvements of the techniques for charge and mass identification of reaction products. This was obtained by means of a systematic study of the basic detection module, consisting of two transmission-mounted silicon detectors followed by a CsI(Tl) scintillator. Significant improvements in ΔE-E and pulse-shape techniques were obtained by controlling the doping homogeneity and the cutting angles of silicon and by putting severe constraints on thickness uniformity. Purposely designed digital electronics contributed to identification quality. The issue of possible degradation related to radiation damage of silicon was also addressed. The experimental activity was accompanied by studies on the physics governing signal evolution in silicon. The good identification quality obtained with the prototypes during the R&D phase, allowed us to investigate also some aspects of isospin physics, namely isospin transport and odd-even staggering. Now, after the conclusion of the R&D period, the FAZIA Collaboration has entered the demonstrator phase, with the aim of verifying the applicability of the devised solutions for the realization of a larger-scale experimental set-up.