Construction and commissioning of a setup to study ageing phenomena in high rate gas detectors

  • In high-rate heavy-ion experiments, gaseous detectors encounter big challenges in terms of degradation of their performance due to a phenomenon dubbed ageing. In this thesis, a setup for high precision ageing studies has been constructed and commissioned at the GSI detector laboratory. The main objective is the study of ageing phenomena evoked by materials used to build gaseous detectors for the Compressed Baryonic Matter (CBM) experiment at the future Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR). The precision of the measurement, e.g., of the gain of a gaseous detector, is a key element in ageing studies: it allows to perform the measurement at realistic rates in an acceptable time span. It is well known the accelerating ageing employing high intensity sources might produce misleading results. The primary objective is to build an apparatus which allows very accurate measurements and is thus sensitive to minute degradations in detector performance. The construction and commissioning of the setup has been carried out in two steps. During the first step of this work, a simpler setup which already existed in the detector laboratory of GSI had been utilised to define all conditions related to ageing studies. The outcome of these studies defined the properties and characteristics that must be met to build and operate a new, sophisticated and precise setup. The already existing setup consisted of two identical Multi Wire Proportional Chambers (MWPCs), a gas mixing station, an 55Fe source, an x-ray generator, an outgassing box and stainless steel tubing. In a first step, the gain and electric field configuration of the MWPCs were simulated by a combination of a gas simulation (Magboltz) and electric field simulation program (Garfield). The performance and operating conditions of the chambers have been thoroughly characterised before utilising them in first preparatory ageing test. The main diagnostic parameter in ageing studies is the detector gain, thus it is mandatory for precise ageing studies to minimise the systematic and statistical variation of the pressure and temperature corrected gain. To achieve the required accuracy, several improvements of the chamber design and the gas system have been implemented. In addition, the temperature measurement has been optimised. During the preparatory tests, several ageing studies have been carried out. The ageing effect of seven materials and gases have been carried out during these tests: RTV-3145, Ar/CO2 gas, Durostone flushed with Ar/Isobutane gas, Vetronit G11, Vetronit G11 contaminated with Micro 3000 and Gerband 705. The results of these studies went into the design of the new sophisticated ageing setup. For example some tests revealed that there was, even after cleaning, a certain level of contamination with "ageing agents" in the existing setup, which made it imperative to ensure a very high level cleanness of all components during the construction of the setup. The curing period of some testing samples like glues or the gas flow rate were found to be very important factors that must be taken into account to obtain comparable results. Very important changes in the chamber design have been made, i.e., the aluminium-Kapton cathodes used in MWPCs have been replaced with multi-wire planes and the fibreglass housing of the chamber has been changed to metal. The second step started with building the new setup which was designed based on the findings from the first step. The new ageing setup consists of three MWPCs, two moving platforms, an 55Fe source, a copper-anode x-ray generator, two outgassing boxes, both flexible and rigid stainless steel tubes. Before fabrication of the chambers, simulations of their electric field and the gain have been done using Magboltz and Garfield programs. After that, the chambers were installed and tested. A 0.3% peak-to-peak residual variation of the corrected gain has been achieved. Finally, the complete setup has been operated with full functionality in no-ageing conditions during one week. This test revealed very stable gain in all three chambers. After that two materials (Gerban 705 and RTV-3145) have been inserted in the two outgassing boxes and tested. They revealed an ageing rate of about 0.3%/mC/cm and 3%/mC/cm respectively. The final test proves the stability and accuracy of the ageing measurements carried out with the ageing setup at the detector laboratory at GSI which is ready to conduct the envisaged systematic ageing studies.
Author:Alhussain Abuhoza
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Referee:Christoph BlumeORCiDGND, Peter Senger, Hans Schmidt
Advisor:Ulrich Frankenfeld
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of Publication (online):2016/02/23
Year of first Publication:2014
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Granting Institution:Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
Date of final exam:2014/04/01
Release Date:2016/04/27
Tag:Ageing; gasous detectors
Page Number:129
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 53 Physik / 530 Physik
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht