The laboratory was established in the framework of the ATLAS experiment, to provide support for detector R&D and construction. It focuses on the characterization of plastic scintillators and clear, scintillating and wavelength shifting (WLS) optical fibres.
The laboratory was set up in collaboration with CFNCUL (Centro de Física Nuclear da Universidade de Lisboa), where it was located. The laboratory was used to select radiation hard scintillators and WLS fibres for the ATLAS Tilecal calorimeter, and for the massive preparation and quality control of the WLS fibre sets used in the calorimeter. It was also used for several detector R&D projects:
DELPHI, ALFA, RD52/ DREAM, and SNO+.
The laboratory is equipped for testing and preparation of scintillators, optical fibres, photomultipliers and related electronics. The main test setup is used for the characterization of plastic WLS or scintillating optical fibres in large numbers, using holders for the scan of up to 32 fibres at a time. It can use both direct radiation from a 90Sr radioactive source to produce light in the fibres or use an additional scintillator as light source. There are additional setups to test scintillators and PMTs. There are facilities for the preparation and aluminization of plastic optical fibres by magnetron sputtering, and the facility allows the deposition of aluminium mirrors in the top of fibres with variable length up to 3 m.