DPF Instrumentation Award

About the DPF Instrumentation Awards

The DPF Instrumentation Award and DPF Instrumentation Early Career Award are bestowed annually to honor exceptional contributions to instrumentation advancing the field of particle physics through the invention, refinement, or application of instrumentation and detectors. The awards recognize accomplishments in one or more of the following areas:

  • Conceptualization and development of unique instrumentation that has made a significant impact on the field.
  • Demonstration of the innovative use of instrumentation.
  • Stimulation of other researchers to use new techniques and methods.
  • Authorship of research papers or books that have had an influential role in the use of instrumentation.

The DPF Instrumentation Award recognizes outstanding achievements in particle physics instrumentation that have had a major impact on the field through the awardee’s dedication over a substantial portion of an entire career, while the DPF Instrumentation Early Career Award recognizes achievements having a significant impact at an early career stage. For the purpose of this award, the early career stage is taken to be approximately 15 years from a Ph.D. or other terminal degree, with due account for interruptions and other factors in nominees’ careers.

Nominations need the following components:

  • A nominating letter of not more than 5,000 characters (about two pages) evaluating the qualifications of the nominee(s)
  • A biographical sketch or CV
  • At least two, but not more than three, supporting letters

Nominations will be active for three years. Nominators should submit all of the material listed above, except the supporting letters. The names and email addresses of the supporting letter-writers should also be included in the nomination packet.

It is important to remember the membership of APS is diverse and global, so the Prize and Award winners as well as Fellows of the APS should reflect that diversity. Nominations of women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and scientists from outside the United States are especially encouraged. Nominations of qualified junior scientists are especially welcome this year and in subsequent odd-numbered years.

The deadline for nomination is Wednesday, September 30, 2020. Award recipients will present award lectures at the 2021 CPAD meeting. If you have any questions about the award, please contact the 2020 Award Committee:

Citations for 2019

The DPF Instrumentation Award 2019 is presented by the APS Division of Particles and Fields (DPF) to:
Hanguo Wang

For his seminal contributions to and sustained development of the use of liquid xenon and argon detectors for direct detection searches for dark matter, including the two-phase technique.Today, liquid xenon (LXe) and liquid argon (LAr) 2-phase time-projection chambers (TPCs) are the leading technologies for direct detection searches for weakly interacting dark matter above 10 GeV, with liquid argon having competitive reach below 10 GeV.This state of affairs is in great part due to early and continued work by Wang. Wang began work on the development of LAr TPCs in the late 1980s with ICARUS at CERN, a direct precursor to the DUNE experiment.For his dissertation in the 1990s, he shifted to the study of LXe for dark matter detection, during which he made critical contributions with collaborators: observing the measurement of ionization with proportional scintillation in single-phase and proportional electroluminescence in dual-phase LXe, the latter of which critically set the basis for discrimination of electron recoils from nuclear recoils; and demonstrating the liquid purification needed to achieve the ionization drift lengths required for large detectors.A 2-kg chamber he developed for his dissertation laid the foundation for work by the ZEPLIN and XENON10 collaborations, which demonstrated leading limits on dark matter with 2-phase LXe for the first time in 2007 and 2008.Over the past 20 years, Wang has continued to be one of the technical wizards behind the fast progress in LXe and LAr detectors, developing designs for very high voltage feedthroughs, power fail-safe cryogenic systems, and low-radioactivity TPCs for the XENON100 and XENON-1T LXe and DarkSide-50 LAr detectors, which have all produced world-leading limits on dark matter. He currently is leading the cryogenics and TPC systems for the DarkSide-20k detector under construction.

The DPF Early Career Instrumentation Award 2019 is presented by the APS Division of Particles and Fields (DPF) to:
Ana Amelia Machado and Ettore Segreto

For the invention and development of the ARAPUCA photon detector, a novel and effective tool for measuring scintillation light in liquid argon detectors.The greatest challenge for the detection of the VUV (127 nm) scintillation photons in a large liquid-argon volume is attenuation.An ARAPUCA consists of a small volume with highly reflective internal surfaces and acceptance windows made from short-pass dichroic filters coated with two different wavelength shifters, one on each side. The external shifter converts the 127 nm photons into photons with a wavelength below the filter’s cutoff, where it is transparent. The inner wavelength shifter shifts the light to a wavelength above the cutoff where the filter is reflective. The net result of this process is that the photon is trapped inside the highly reflective box where it is detected by the photo-sensors (SiPMs) on the internal surface. The ARAPUCA named for a Brazilian bird trap, thus traps the photons and results in much more effective light collection capability than previous devices.

2019 Award Committee: Rick Van Berg (Chair), Roger Rusack (Vice-Chair), Hong Ma, Sunil Golwala, Rinaldo Santonico, Javier Tiffenberg

Previous Winners

2018 DPF Instrumentation Award - Rinaldo Santonico
The University of Rome, Tor Vergata
"For the development of large gap Resistive Plate Chambers (RPCs) and their successful application in a wide variety of experiments."

2018 DPF Instrumentation Early Career Award - Dr. Javier Tiffenberg
Fermilab and the University of Chicago
"For the development of the Skipper CCD and its application in light dark matter and coherent neutrino-nucleus interaction searches."

2017 - Blair Ratcliff
2017 - Lawrence Sulak

"For the development of novel detectors exploiting the Cherenkov radiation to enhance the capabilities of frontier experiments devoted to the study of beauty and charm hadrons and atmospheric neutrinos."
2017 Award Committee: Marina Artuso (Chair), Petra Merkel (Vice-chair), Hong Ma, Stephen Holland, Tim Nelson, Abe Seiden, Gary Varner

2016 - Stephen Holland
2016 - Gary Varner

"For the development of technologies for detection of signals in frontier experiments, especially the fully depleted charge coupled device and the 'oscilloscope on a chip' integrated circuit."

2015 - David Nygren
2015 - Veljko Radeka

"For widespread contributions and leadership in the development of new detector technologies and low-noise electronics instrumentation in particle physics as well as other fields, and in particular work leading to the development and instrumentation of large volume liquid argon time projection chambers that are now a key element in the global particle physics program."
2015 Award Committee: Howard Nicholson (Chair) CPAD, Sally Seidel (Vice-chair) DPF, Marina Artuso CPAD, Karsten Heeger DPF, Graham Smith CPAD

Nominees and award and office holders are expected to meet standards of professional conduct and integrity as described in the APS Ethics Guidelines. Violations of these standards may disqualify people from consideration or lead to revocation of honors or removal from office.