P. Fonte, A. Smirnitski, and C. Williams

"A New High-Resolution Time-OF-Flight Technology"

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In the framework of the ALICE Collaboration, we have recently studied the performance of the multigap Resistive Plate Chambers, which were operated in avalanche mode and at atmospheric pressure for Time-Of-Flight measurements. The detector provided an overall (detector plus electronics) timing accuracy of 120 ps sigma at an efficiency of 98% for MIP's. The chambers had four 0.3mm gas gaps, limited by both a metallised ceramic plate and a glass plate, with an active dimension of 4x4cm2 . The gas mixture contained C2H2F4 +5%isobutane+10%SF6 . The streamer discharges, at a rate level of a few percent, each releasing about 20pC, were tolerated without any noticeable problem. This detector opens the perspectives for affordable and reliable, high-granularity large area TOF detectors, with efficiency and time resolution comparable to existing scintillator-based TOF technology, but with significantly, up to an order of magnitude, a lower price per channel.

Last modified: 7 April 1999, Jochen.