I am designing an Alpha particle time of flight detector which consists of two scintillators separated by 5cm of vacuum (few Torrs).

The two scintillators are connected to two separate avalanche photodetectors which would generate photons as soon as the Alpha particle pass through the scintillators.

I now need to design a circuit (preferably an analogue integrator) to measure the time interval between those two events to an accuracy of a 0.1ns.

Could anyone help me with this circuit as I am not very much adept in it?

Thank you very much in advance, and feel free to ask me any questions on the design itself.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Rather than force us to ask questions about your "design itself," why don't you write as much as you already know about it? More is better. We have almost no information from you, so far. \$\endgroup\$ – jonk Sep 18 '18 at 1:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Useful information would be the rate at which you measure particles, what the output of the photodetectors looks like, etc. \$\endgroup\$ – crj11 Sep 18 '18 at 2:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ What is the maximum interval you need to measure? \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Sep 18 '18 at 3:32

Lucky for you there is an emerging market for IC's that became prevalent in the last few years. What you are looking for is a time of flight IC. These are mostly used for applications related to LIDAR and measuring distance. The resolution can get lower than 100ps (55ps).

What you would need to do is take the output from the scintillators and gain it to the appropriate voltage level and/or build a comparator, for a diode based scintellator it would look something like this:

enter image description here Source: https://transistorized.net/post/stdal/post79.htm

You could then use the time of flight module TDC7201 to get the difference of the time between the detectors.

enter image description here Source: https://www.digikey.com/en/articles/techzone/2017/jan/simplifying-time-of-flight-distance-measurements

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