Electron avalanches in liquid argon mixtures


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Kim J., Dardin S., Kadel R., Kadyk J., Peskov V., Wenzel W.

NUCLEAR INSTRUMENTS & METHODS IN PHYSICS RESEARCH SECTION A-ACCELERATORS SPECTROMETERS DETECTORS AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT, vol.534, no.3, pp.376-396, 2004 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

Abstract

We have observed stable avalanche gain in liquid argon when mixed with small amounts of xenon (xe) in the high electric field (> 7 MV/cm) near the point of a chemically etched needle in a point-plane geometry. We identify two gain mechanisms, one pressure dependent, and the other independent of the applied pressure. We conclude that the pressure dependent signals are from avalanche gain in gas bubbles at the tip of the needle, while the pressure-independent pulses are from avalanche gain in liquid. We measure the decay time spectra of photons from both types of avalanches. The decay times from the pressure-dependent pulses decrease (increase) with the applied pressure (high voltage), while the decay times from the pressure-independent pulses are approximately independent of pressure or high voltage. For our operating conditions, the collected charge distribution from avalanches is similar for 60 or 122 keV photon sources. With krypton additives, instead of Xe, we measure behavior consistent with only the pressure-dependent pulses. Neon and TMS were also investigated as additives, and designs for practical detectors were tested. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.