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The recent progresses in the field of photodetection have pushed the performances of the detectors toward the picosecond scale. Necessary precise charge and time measurement are mainly based on high-end oscilloscopes or commercial modules, but these solutions are expensive and house very few channels. The USB-WaveCatcher board provides high performances over a short time window. It houses two 12-bit 500-MHz-bandwidth digitizers sampling up to 3.2 GS/s. Its low consumption allows it to be USB-powered and it offers a lot of functionalities. The board has been used in different test benches dedicated to fast MCP-PMTs or SiPMs, and a reproducible time precision better than 10 ps rms has been demonstrated. Implementations with up to 16 channels have been designed and exhibit the same time precision. The USB-WaveCatcher thus seems to be a wo...
The currently existing electronics dedicated to precise time measurement is mainly based on the use of constant fraction discriminators (CFD) associated with Time to Digital Converters (TDC). The constant fraction technique minimizes the time walk effect (dependency of timing on the pulse amplitude). Several attempts have been made to integrate CFD in multi-channel ASICs. But the time resolution measured on the most advanced one is of the order of 30 ps rms. Two main techniques are used for the TDC architectures. The first one makes use of a voltage ramp started or stopped by the digital pulse. The obtained voltage is converted into digital data using an Analog to Digital Converter (ADC). The timing resolution of such a system is excellent (5 ps rms). But this technique is limited by its large dead time which can be unacceptable for th...
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