IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON NUCLEAR SCIENCE, vol.48, no.4, pp.1070-1074, 2001 (SCI-Expanded)
We performed a new series of systematic studies of gain and rate characteristics of several micropattern gaseous detectors. Extending earlier studies, characteristics were measured at various pressures and gas mixtures at a wide range of primary charges, and also when the whole area of the detectors was irradiated with a high-intensity X-ray beam. Several new effects were discovered, common to all tested detectors, which define fundamental limits of operation. The results of these studies allow us to identify several concrete ways of improving the performance of micropattern detectors and to suggest that in some applications, resistive plate chambers may constitute a valid alternative. Being protected from damaging discharges by the resistive electrodes, these detectors feature high gain, high rate capability (10(5) Hz/mm(2)), good position resolution (better than 30 mum), and excellent timing (50 ps sigma).