Intertechnique was founded in 1951 with the French aircraft manufacturer Marcel Dassault as the main shareholder. Its role was to supply the (nuclear) industry with equipment at an international level. It developed experience in nuclear safety and online process control and by the 1960s Intertechnique was an established French Company. It made general portable Alpha, Beta, Gamma and neutron monitors as well as MCAs and acquired Lasco (Lab. des SemiConducteurs), which was founded in 1967 by Roland Henck and Paul Siffert of Centre National de la Recherche Scientific (CNRS). Paul Siffert remained at CNRS, leading one of the major groups in Europe working on semiconductor detectors. He was also the founder and long-time president of the European Materials Research Society.
Lasco manufactured Ge(Li) detectors for the Societe d’Applications Industrialles de la Physique (SAIP) located in Bagneux. It was soon joined by Paul Burger and Marc Lefevre. For the contributions of Paul Burger to silicon detector development see Heijne (356). SAIP itself acquired the small detector concern of SEAVOM (Organisation for the Study and Application of Vacuum to Mechanical Optics), Francoville, which was making silicon surface barrier and Si(Li) detectors. In 1972, the giant Schlumberger acquired SAIC and a year later Lasco. In 1977 Schlumberger reorganized these and other concerns under the name Enertec in Lingolsheim near Strasbourg. It made the first commercial microstrip detectors in 1980 but never entered the EXMDA market. In 1987 the activities at Lingolsheim were acquired by Intetechnique, constituting their Nuclear Department. In 1990, Eurisys Mesures, Strasbourg, was created by merging with other small businesses. Cogema acquired Eurisys Mesures in 1993 and merged them into the Canberra organization.
When Canberra was acquired by Cogema in 2001, Canberra and Eurisys Mesures (LIngolsheim) were competing in the Germanium and Silicon detector markets. It was decided at the onset of this merger that Canberra would focus on standard Ge detectors and that Lingolsheim would focus on specialty detectors, having demonstrated proficiency in advanced manufacturing techniques such as segmentation and encapsulation.
As for the Silicon Detector business, both Canberra (Olen) and Lingolsheim had been fairly successful and Cogema had invested some 500kE in this business fairly recently. Paul Burger who earlier started the Canberra Silicon Detector operation after leaving Lingolsheim, was asked to make a study and to recommend a path forward. It turns out that the Silicon Specialist at Lingolsheim left the company shortly after the merger so they were somewhat depleted of expertise. Paul suggested that work on Silicon be split between the two locations but, after careful consideration, the President of Canberra, Christian Petit, decided to focus the Silicon operation in Olen.
In the years after Cogema bought the Lingolsheim business they appointed business managers coming from within the company to “run” the business but none of them were very successful, maybe because they did not gain the respect of the specialists who held the keys to the advanced technology, Daniel Gutnecht foremost among them. Finally Dr. Marie-Odile Lampert, who originally had been hired by Paul Burger to work on Si(Li) detectors and who had become their Sales and Marketing Specialist, was appointed GM of Lingolsheim, a move welcomed by the personnel there. She has held this position since.
Lingolsheim has been very successful in serving the nuclear physics research market around the globe. Two major projects for low energy physics research provided a base of business for the company in the past decade and smaller projects fit nicely with their expertise, notably highly segmented planar and coaxial Ge Detectors. The large projects, GRETA in the US and AGATA in Europe are so called “crystal balls” comprising closely packed Ge detectors having some 36 segments each, providing the means of tracking gamma ray interactions within the spherical array of detectors.