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Ionization micro-channel plates (i-MCP)
for fast timing of showers in high rate environments


F.Cavallari (2), D.Del Re (2), A.Ghezzi (1), P.Govoni (1), A.Martelli (1), P.Meridiani (2), S.Rahatlou (2), C.Rovelli (2), T.Tabarelli de Fatis (1)

(1) INFN and Università di Milano Bicocca

(2) INFN Sezione di Roma 1 and Università di Roma “La Sapienza”


Abstract: The evolution of the research at particle colliders calls for the development of very fast and highly radiation resistant calorimeters. We propose an R&D program of a detector element based on micro-channel plates (MCP) to sample the ionizing component of electromagnetic showers. Relativistic particle detection by means of secondary emission of electrons at the MCP surface has long been proposed and is used extensively in ion time-of-flight mass spectrometers. What has not been investigated in depth is their use to detect the ionizing component of showers. The fast time resolution of MCPs exceeds anything that has been previously used in calorimeters, and, if exploited effectively, could aid in the event reconstruction at high luminosities. Recent technological developments make this solution attractive to cope, for example, with the instrumental challenges opened by the upgrade plan of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The expected outcome of this R&D program is the design of a radiation-hard module to be embedded in a sampling calorimeter (e.g. as a preshower). This solution would factorize the quest for precision timing from the technological choice of the full calorimeter.