About this Research Topic
During the last few years the fast timing emerged as a very active research topic motivated by demands of modern science and technology, and enabled by rapid improvements in detectors, materials and electronics. Measuring the time-of-flight of particles and photons, resolving the time evolution of fast processes, and looking at time correlations in spatially resolved events are the main drivers for the development of sensors with the best possible time resolution. There have been a number of many exciting developments in this area over the last decade, when the time resolution improved by orders of magnitude, and it is currently approaching the picosecond scale.
In semiconducting devices good timing accuracy can be achieved in sensors with internal amplification such as LGADs (low gain avalanche devices) and SPADs (single photon avalanche devices). New, pixelated sensors have been produced and tested with excellent timing resolution and improving noise performance. Solid state photo-multipliers are quickly replacing their vacuum counterparts in applications and SPAD pixel arrays have promise to bring picosecond resolution in to single photon imaging.
Progress in material engineering brought to life fast scintillators that can support picosecond scale timing resolution and are bright enough. Fast photodetectors based on micro-channel plates with good sensitivity, high amplification and excellent timing resolution also had a lot of promising developments lately. Hybrid gaseous detectors support timing at 10 ps level and have good spatial resolution and could be a cost-effective venue for large areas detectors.
The progress in fast electronics is driven nowadays by the telecom industry with ever decreasing feature size and higher clock speed that allows to sample the waveforms faster than GHz level. Innovative time-digital converter (TDC) architectures allow to fit into small pixels the designs that required standalone modules. To take advantage of the time resolution for extended systems where the propagation time is considerable one has to distribute the clock with adequate picosecond precision, which is relevant, for example, for the timing layers of large particle physics experiments for “4D - x,y,z,t” measurements.
In order to fully exploit the remarkable progress in fast devices, advances in modelling the charge transport and statistical properties of picosecond-class detector signals are essential to guide the choice of the optimum simulation, filtering and reconstruction methods, from the initial phase of electronics design through all the chain up to the final data analysis.
This research topic therefore aims to encompass contributions in the following areas:
• Fast solid state detectors
• Fast gaseous detectors
• Fast scintillators
• Fast electronics
• Clock distribution
• Modelling, simulation and analysis tools
• Applications of fast detectors and imagers
Keywords: Fast solid state detectors, Fast gaseous detectors, Fast scintillators, Fast electronics
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