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Design, verification and integration of a fast digitizer for nuclear structure experiments. Application to EXOGAM and NEDA detectors

AuthorsEgea Canet, Javier
AdvisorGadea, Andrés ; González Millán, Vicente
KeywordsIngeniería y tecnología eléctricas
Issue Date18-Sep-2015
PublisherCSIC-UV - Instituto de Física Corpuscular (IFIC)
AbstractNuclear structure experiments are carried out in order to understand the many properties of a very complex body: the nucleus. Different nuclear isotopes involve very different properties as for example stability, deformation, production cross-section, decay modes, etc. It is well known that a comprehensive understanding of these properties is compulsory in order to deal with the most recent challenges of nuclear fundamental physics, as well as in more applications such as: radiotherapy, medical imaging, astrophysics, biology, material sciences, nuclear energy, etc. Up to now, around 6000 different nuclear isotopes are predicted to exist, but until now the properties of only 3000 have been partially studied. Measuring nuclear properties mentioned above is not an obvious task. It requires a large knowledge about interaction of radiation with matter, complex detectors arrays with hundreds of channels, and therefore, complicated electronics to achieve such measurements. The most well-known and useful method used to observe the nuclear properties is the gamma-ray spectroscopy, which obtains the energy spectra based on the energy of the gamma rays impinging in the detector. In order to perform efficiently the gamma-ray spectra, and to be capable of observing the properties of exotic nuclei, it is required complex and expensive instrumentation, which, for the case of nuclear structure is being implemented by means of high-resolution gamma-ray spectrometers coupled with ancillary detectors, such as neutron detector or charged particle detectors. Regarding the electronics, it is obvious that most applications are heading towards the digital electronics, making possible and easier the implementation of more generic and flexible electronics, given the capability to implement more complex data analysis algorithms, faster communication protocols and reconfigurable firmware, among others. However, part of the measurements used to characterize the nucleus when performing high-resolution spectroscopy, such as the time of flight or the energy resolution, still, the performance obtained with analog electronics overcomes the capabilities of digital systems, entailing a big challenge when these measurements move to the digital world without a big performance drop. This text aims to introduce and show the capabilities which can be obtained with digital systems when performing measurements with high-resolution gamma spectrometers, keeping a good energy resolution while enhancing capabilities related to integration, economic, flexibility and communications. Concretely text deals with the design, verification and integration of a high-speed digitizer, capable to deal with the requirements of the HP-Ge high- resolution gamma-ray spectrometer EXOGAM (EXOtic GAMma array) and the future NEDA (Neutron Detector Array) fast neutron detector, used as an ancillary neutron detector for EXOGAM and AGATA. Finally, the conclusion shows the successful attempt to integrate a digital system in a task which has been implemented up to the date with analog electronics. Therefore, showing the evidence that high-resolution gamma-ray spectroscopy with digital systems is definitely possible, this text establishes an outline for future applications in the field of instrumentation applied for the nuclear structure research.
Description202 páginas. Tesis Doctoral del Departamento de Ingeniería Electrónica de la Universidad de Valencia y del Instituto de Física Corpuscular (IFIC).
Appears in Collections:(IFIC) Tesis
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