Firsts results on particle detection using a novel silicon pixel detector are presented. The sensor consists of an array of 48 square pixels with 380 μm pitch based on a n-i-p hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) film deposited on top of a VLSI chip. The deposition was performed by VHF-PECVD, which enables high rate deposition up to 2 nm/s. Direct particle detection using beta particles from 63Ni and 90Sr sources was performed. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.