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Title: A gating grid driver for time projection chambers

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Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
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Grant/Contract Number:
SC0004835; SC0014530
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Publisher's Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section A, Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 853; Journal Issue: C; Related Information: CHORUS Timestamp: 2017-12-08 15:39:45; Journal ID: ISSN 0168-9002
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Citation Formats

Tangwancharoen, S., Lynch, W. G., Barney, J., Estee, J., Shane, R., Tsang, M. B., Zhang, Y., Isobe, T., Kurata-Nishimura, M., Murakami, T., Xiao, Z. G., and Zhang, Y. F. A gating grid driver for time projection chambers. Netherlands: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/j.nima.2017.02.001.
Tangwancharoen, S., Lynch, W. G., Barney, J., Estee, J., Shane, R., Tsang, M. B., Zhang, Y., Isobe, T., Kurata-Nishimura, M., Murakami, T., Xiao, Z. G., & Zhang, Y. F. A gating grid driver for time projection chambers. Netherlands. doi:10.1016/j.nima.2017.02.001.
Tangwancharoen, S., Lynch, W. G., Barney, J., Estee, J., Shane, R., Tsang, M. B., Zhang, Y., Isobe, T., Kurata-Nishimura, M., Murakami, T., Xiao, Z. G., and Zhang, Y. F. Mon . "A gating grid driver for time projection chambers". Netherlands. doi:10.1016/j.nima.2017.02.001.
title = {A gating grid driver for time projection chambers},
author = {Tangwancharoen, S. and Lynch, W. G. and Barney, J. and Estee, J. and Shane, R. and Tsang, M. B. and Zhang, Y. and Isobe, T. and Kurata-Nishimura, M. and Murakami, T. and Xiao, Z. G. and Zhang, Y. F.},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.1016/j.nima.2017.02.001},
journal = {Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section A, Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment},
number = C,
volume = 853,
place = {Netherlands},
year = {Mon May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Mon May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1016/j.nima.2017.02.001

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Cited by: 1work
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  • We have constructed microstrip gas chambers (MSGCs) for implementation as a time projection chamber readout. The MSGC consists of an alternating 10 {mu}m wide anode and 90 {mu}m wide cathode strip pattern deposited on one side of a thin substrate. A rectangular pad pattern is deposited on the opposite side of the substrate. The MSGC is mounted in a test chamber filled with a 90:10 mixture of Ar-CH{sub 4}. We will present measurements obtained with an {sup 55}Fe X-ray source from MSGCs constructed on different substrates with varying anode/cathode and pad geometries. The performance and optimization of the anode andmore » pad readout will be discussed.« less
  • The Time Projection Chamber (TPC) concept [add ref to TPC section] has been applied to many projects outside of particle physics and the accelerator based experiments where it was initially developed. TPCs in non-accelerator particle physics experiments are principally focused on rare event detection (e.g. neutrino and darkmater experiments) and the physics of these experiments can place dramatically different constraints on the TPC design (only extensions to the traditional TPCs are discussed here). The drift gas, or liquid, is usually the target or matter under observation and due to very low signal rates a TPC with the largest active massmore » is desired. The large mass complicates particle tracking of short and sometimes very low energy particles. Other special design issues include, efficient light collection, background rejection, internal triggering and optimal energy resolution. Backgrounds from gamma-rays and neutrons are significant design issues in the construction of these TPCs. They are generally placed deep underground to shield from cosmogenic particles and surrounded with shielding to reduce radiation from the local surroundings. The construction materials have to be carefully screened for radiopurity as they are in close contact with the active mass and can be a signification source of background events. The TPC excels in reducing this internal background because the mass inside the fieldcage forms one monolithic volume from which fiducial cuts can be made ex post facto to isolate quiet drift mass, and can be circulated and purified to a very high level. Self shielding in these large mass systems can be significant and the effect improves with density. The liquid phase TPC can obtain a high density at low pressure which results in very good self-shielding and compact installation with a lightweight containment. The down sides are the need for cryogenics, slower charge drift, tracks shorter than the typical electron diffusion, lower energy resolution (e.g. xenon) and limited charge readout options. Slower charge drift requires long electron lifetimes placing strict limits on the oxygen and other impurities with high electron affinity. A significant variation of the liquid phase TPC, that improves the charge readout, is the dual-phase TPC where a gas phase layer is formed above the liquid into which the drifting electrons are extracted and amplified, typically with electroluminescence. The successful transfer of electrons through the phase boundary requires careful control of its position and setting up an appropriate electric field. A high pressure gas phase TPC has no cryogenics and density is easily optimized for the signal, but a large heavy pressure vessel is required. Although shelf shielding is reduced, it can in some cases approach that of the liquid phase; in xenon at 50atm the density is about half that of water or about 1/6 of liquid xenon. A significant feature of high pressure xenon gas is the energy resolution. Below a density of about 0.5g/cc the intrinsic resolution is only a few times that of high purity germanium. A neutrino-less double beta decay (0{nu}2{beta}) TPC operated below this density limit could enjoy excellent energy resolution and maintain particle tracking for background rejection. An observable interaction with the TPC results in a charged particle that travels in the drift matter exciting and ionizing the atoms until the initial energy is converted into ionization, scintillation, or heat with relatively large fluctuations around a mean distribution. Rare event TPCs can be designed to detect scintillation light as well as charge to exploit the anti-correlation to improve energy resolution and/or signal to noise. An electric drift field separates the electrons and positive ions from the ionization although the separation is not complete and some electrons are captured, exciting atoms and releasing more light than the primary excitation alone. The average partition between the scintillation and ionization can be manipulated to increase the ionization (at a loss of scintillation) by a number of methods such as, increasing the strength of the electric field up to a saturation of the ionization yield, increasing the temperature to enhance the diffusion of the ionized electrons, and adding dopants such as triethylamine that can be photoionized by the scintillation photons releasing more ionization. Scintillation light is typically collected with photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) and avalanche photo diodes (APDs) although any fast (compared to the ionization drift speed) light collector capable of detecting the typically UV photons, maintaining high radiopurity and perhaps withstanding pressure would work. CCDs are slow and therefore only record 2 dimensions integrating over the time direction, some of which can be recovered with a few PMTs.« less
  • The choice between cold and warm electronics (inside or outside the cryostat) in very large LAr TPCs (>5-10 ktons) is not an electronics issue, but it is rather a major cryostat design issue. This is because the location of the signal processing electronics has a direct and far reaching effect on the cryostat design, an indirect effect on the TPC electrode design (sense wire spacing, wire length and drift distance), and a significant effect on the TPC performance. All these factors weigh so overwhelmingly in favor of the cold electronics that it remains an optimal solution for very large TPCs.more » In this paper signal and noise considerations are summarized, the concept of the readout chain is described, and the guidelines for design of CMOS circuits for operation in liquid argon (at {approx}89 K) are discussed.« less
  • A gas in parallel electric and magnetic fields makes an elegant detector able to identify particles over a broad momentum range and to measure their tracks in three dimensions.
  • As part of the T-REX project, a number of R and D and prototyping activities have been carried out during the last years to explore the applicability of gaseous Time Projection Chambers (TPCs) with Micromesh Gas Structures (Micromegas) in rare event searches like double beta decay, axion research and low-mass WIMP searches. In both this and its companion paper, we compile the main results of the project and give an outlook of application prospects for this detection technique. While in the companion paper we focus on axions and WIMPs, in this paper we focus on the results regarding the measurementmore » of the double beta decay (DBD) of {sup 136}Xe in a high pressure Xe (HPXe) TPC. Micromegas of the microbulk type have been extensively studied in high pressure Xe and Xe mixtures. Particularly relevant are the results obtained in Xe + trimethylamine (TMA) mixtures, showing very promising results in terms of gain, stability of operation, and energy resolution at high pressures up to 10 bar. The addition of TMA at levels of ∼ 1% reduces electron diffusion by up to a factor of 10 with respect to pure Xe, improving the quality of the topological pattern, with a positive impact on the discrimination capability. Operation with a medium size prototype of 30 cm diameter and 38 cm of drift (holding about 1 kg of Xe at 10 bar in the fiducial volume, enough to contain high energy electron tracks in the detector volume) has allowed to test the detection concept in realistic experimental conditions. Microbulk Micromegas are able to image the DBD ionization signature with high quality while, at the same time, measuring its energy deposition with a resolution of at least a ∼ 3% FWHM @ Q{sub ββ}. This value was experimentally demonstrated for high-energy extended tracks at 10 bar, and is probably improvable down to the ∼ 1% FWHM levels as extrapolated from low energy events. In addition, first results on the topological signature information (one straggling track ending in two blobs) show promising background discrimination capabilities out of reach of other experimental implementations. Moreover, microbulk Micromegas have very low levels of intrinsic radioactivity, and offer cost-effective scaling-up options. All these results demonstrate that Micromegas-read HPXe TPC remains a very competitive technique for the next generation DBD experiments.« less