Timing Resistive Plate Chambers with Ceramic Electrodes

by Alejandro Laso Garcia

Institution: Technische Universität Dresden
Department: Fakultät Mathematik und Naturwissenschaften
Degree: PhD
Year: 2015
Record ID: 1111779
Full text PDF: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:14-qucosa-163270


The focus of this thesis is the development of Resistive Plate Chambers (RPCs) with ceramic electrodes. The use of ceramic composites, Si3N4/SiC, opens the way for the application of RPCs in harsh radiation environments. Future Experiments like the Compressed Baryonic Matter (CBM) at the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR) in Darmstadt will need new RPCs with high rate capabilities and high radiation tolerance. Ceramic composites are specially suited for this purpose due to their resistance to radiation and chemical contamination. The bulk resistivity of these ceramics is in the range 10^7 - 10^13 Ohm cm. The bulk resistivity of the electrodes is the main factor determining the rate capabilities of a RPC, therefore a specifific measuring station and a measurement protocol has been set for these measurements. The dependence of the bulk resistivity on the difffferent steps of the manufacturing process has been studied. Other electrical parameters like the relaxation time, the relative permittivity and the tangent loss have also been investigated. Simulation codes for the investigation of RPC functionality was developed using the gas detectors simulation framework GARFIELD++. The parameters of the two mixtures used in RPC operation have been extracted. Furthermore, theoretical predictions on time resolution and effi ciency have been calculated and compared with experimental results. Two ceramic materials have been used to assemble RPCs. Si3N4/SiC and Al2O3 with a thin (nm thick) chromium layer deposited over it. Several prototypes have been assembled with active areas of 5x 5 cm^2, 10x 10 cm^2 and 20 x20 cm^2. The number of gaps ranges from two to six. The gas gap widths were 250 micro meter and 300 micrometer. As separator material mylar foils, fifishing line and high-resistive ceramics have been used. Different detector architectures have been built and their effffect on RPC performance analysed. The RPCs developed at HZDR and ITEP (Moscow) were systematically tested in electron and proton beams and with cosmic radiation over the course of three years. The performance of the RPCs was extracted from the measured data. The main parameters like time resolution, effi ciency, rate capabilities, cluster size, detector currents and avalanche charge were obtained and compared with other RPC systems in the world. A comparison with phenomenological models was performed.