Journal article

Multi-Channel Amplifier-Discriminator for Highly Time-Resolved Detection

A low-power multi-channel amplifier-discriminator was developed for application in highly time-resolved detection systems. The proposed circuit architecture, so-called Nino, is based on a time-over-threshold approach and shows a high potential for time-resolved readout of solid-state photo-detectors and of detectors based on vacuum technologies. The Irpics circuit was designed in a 250 nm CMOS technology, implementing 32 channels of a Nino version optimized to achieve high-time resolution on the output low-voltage differential signals (LVDS) while keeping a low power consumption of 10 mW per channel. Electrical characterizations of the circuit demonstrate a very low intrinsic time jitter on the output pulse leading edge, measured below 10 ps rms for each channel for high input signal charges ( > 100 fC) and below 25 ps rms for low input signal charges (20-100 fC). The read-out architecture moreover permits to retrieve the input signal charge from the timing measurements, while a calibration procedure was developed to correct for time walk variations of the output pulses. The Irpics circuit therefore shows a high potential of application in multi-channel detection systems requiring a high time resolution, as needed for Time Of Flight systems (TOF), Positron Emission Tomography (PET) or time-resolved spectroscopy.


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