Photo of Dr Eva Vilella-Figueras

Dr Eva Vilella-Figueras

UKRI Research Fellow Physics


Personal Statement

I lead the HV-CMOS R&D group at Liverpool, where we develop position sensitive silicon sensors for the most groundbreaking fundamental physics experiments. At present I hold a prestigious Future Leaders Fellowship from UKRI to achieve a step change improvement in the performance of HV-CMOS sensors in commercially available processes. These smart sensors incorporate a sensing element and an advanced readout chip on extremely thin and cost-effective silicon process technologies, which makes them an extremely attractive option to replace traditional tracking silicon sensors. HV-CMOS sensors, however, require substantial further research to achieve the ever more demanding specifications in terms of position accuracy, time resolution and radiation tolerance. Under the umbrella of my fellowship, I am pushing the boundaries of HV-CMOS sensors to enable challenging future particle physics experiments (HL-LHC upgrades, FCC, pEDM, Mu3e and g-2 among others) and provide major benefits in other fields like healthcare.

My research group, which includes postdocs, engineers and students, is expert in physical device simulations, chip design, control and acquisition systems development and experimental performance evaluation. Since 2017 I lead the CMOS Working Group within RD50, the CERN collaboration dedicated to the development of extreme radiation tolerant sensors for future high luminosity colliders. I am part of the initiatives to build HV-CMOS demonstrators for the proposed LHCb Mighty Tracker Upgrades Ib/II (aka MightyPix) and also for pEDM searches. I have built networks with world-leaders from several international institutes and have collaborated on the joint development of several prototypes. With my research group and collaborators, I have designed several detector prototypes in different commercially available processes (ams AG, LFoundry S.r.l. and TSI Semiconductors). These include the first large area prototype (2 cm x 2 cm) for the Mu3e and ATLAS experiments (MuPix8, ATLASPix1 and H35DEMO) and the first 2 test prototypes within the CERN-RD50 collaboration (RD50-MPW1/2). RD50-MPW1 has the smallest HV-CMOS sensor cell with complex readout electronics to date, while RD50-MPW2 incorporates new methods to minimise the leakage current.

I serve as a panel member of the Innovations Partnership Scheme (IPS) from STFC. I am the postdocs and research fellows representative for the Department of Physics Management Committee. I am a member of the Liverpool Women in Science and Engineering (LivWiSE) initiative and I often engage in outreach activities to attract more women into STEM.

I did my PhD degree in Engineering and Advanced Technologies (University of Barcelona, 2013) on the development of an avalanche photodiode detector prototype in standard HV-CMOS processes for possible linear colliders, such as ILC and CLIC. In 2014, I became a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Liverpool where I joined a new research effort to develop HV-CMOS sensors for the ATLAS Phase-II Upgrade, Mu3e Phase-I build and generic R&D.

Funded Fellowships

  • Development of HV-CMOS sensor technology for the next generation of particle physics experiments (UK Research and Innovation, 2019 - present)