CE31 - Physique subatomique et astrophysique

Development of a PICOSEC-Micromegas detector for ENUBET – PIMENT

Submission summary

The ENUBET (Enhanced NeUtrino BEams from kaon Tagging) project aims at building a monitored neutrino beam to reduce the uncertainty on the neutrino flux and cross section below 1%. Given the high rate of events expected, detector time resolution is a critical parameter for clean reconstruction of the events and strong reduction of the mixing of different events due to pile-up. Furthermore, sub-ns sampling in the far detector would allow one-to-one correlation between positrons tagged in the beamline and neutrinos tagged in the far detector, transforming ENUBET in the first “tagged neutrino beam”. We propose a 3-year R&D project to develop novel detector instrumentation based on the PICOSEC-Micromegas concept and demonstrate the impact of such detectors to New Physics searches by utilizing them to flavor and time tag neutrino beams. Possible exploitation of the PICOSEC-Micromegas technology will be investigated for both the ENUBET tagger and the neutrino detectors.This includes:
- PICOSEC Micromegas detector embedded in an electromagnetic calorimeter (EMC), capable for accurate timing (~10 ps) of electron and gamma showers
- PICOSEC Micromegas replacing the slow photon veto of ENUBET and acting also as a timing layer (T0-layers) at the ENUBET tagger for single MIP detection with timing better than 50 ps.
- instrumentation of the hadron dump for muon monitor: this would allow for the first time in the history of neutrino beams to perform muon monitoring from pion decay at single particle level
- Micromegas photodetector for time tagging at the neutrino detector.

The PICOSEC-Micromegas concept consists in a “two-stage” Micromegas detector coupled with a Cherenkov radiator (MgF2), equipped with an appropriate photocathode. The drift gap is reduced to 200 µm while the applied electric field in this region (>10 kV/cm) is strong enough to produce electron multiplication. This configuration provides a large bandwidth for Cherenkov light production-detection in the extreme UV. Relativistic particles traversing the radiator produce Cherenkov photons which are simultaneously converted into electrons in the photocathode. Results obtained with small, single-anode prototypes yield a time resolution of 24 ps for relativistic muons and 44 ps for single UV photons. Those results have demonstrated that the desired timing performance can be achieved with our concept. However, there are several issues to be addressed, mostly concerning the scalability to large area detectors, including the development of the corresponding electronics, and of efficient and robust photocathodes for applications in high particle flux environments.

In order to demonstrate in particle beams the required performance for each scenario, we will develop small (~10x10 cm2), modular prototypes. The main technical challenges to overcome is the choice of an efficient and robust photocathode and the production of Micromegas boards with segmented anode and planarity better than 10 µm, maintaining a small radiation length. In parallel, we will develop the necessary electronics to test and evaluate the prototypes. Front-end boards will be developed based on the optimization of a prototype, already tested successfully with a single anode prototype. The waveform digitization and precise time-tagging will be performed by electronics boards based on the SAMPIC circuit.

The importance of precise timing in experiments operating at high luminosity colliding particle beams is already widely recognized, whilst 4D object reconstruction will be necessary in the future Particle Physics experiments in accelerators like the EIC and the FFC. The proposal aims at addressing critical points for the development of a sizable detector that can offer the necessary timing information. The project enhances the benefits of the PICOSEC Micromegas for PID as MIP detector bu talso as a timing layer embedded in a calorimeter.

Project coordination

Thomas Papaevangelou (Institut de Recherche sur les lois Fondamentales de l'Univers)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


IJCLab Laboratoire de physique des 2 infinis – Irène Joliot-Curie
LIST Laboratoire d'Intégration des Systèmes et des Technologies
IRFU Institut de Recherche sur les lois Fondamentales de l'Univers

Help of the ANR 574,089 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 36 Months

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