NUCLEAR INSTRUMENTS & METHODS IN PHYSICS RESEARCH SECTION A-ACCELERATORS SPECTROMETERS DETECTORS AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT, vol.422, no.1-3, pp.300-304, 1999 (SCI-Expanded)
We report results from a systematic study of breakdown limits for novel high-rate gaseous detectors: MICROMEGAS, CAT and GEM, together with more conventional devices such as thin-gap parallel-mesh chambers and high-rate wire chambers. It was found that for all these detectors, the maximum achievable gain, before breakdown appears, drops dramatically with incident flux, and is sometimes inversely proportional to it. Further, in the presence of alpha particles, typical of the breakgrounds in high-energy experiments, additional gain drops of 1-2 orders of magnitude were observed for many detectors. It was found that breakdowns at high rates occur through what we have termed an "accumulative" mechanism, which does not seem to have been previously reported in the literature. Results of these studies may help in choosing the optimum detector for given experimental conditions. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.