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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A low-noise CMOS pixel direct charge sensor, Topmetal-II-

  • Author(s): An, M
  • Chen, C
  • Gao, C
  • Han, M
  • Ji, R
  • Li, X
  • Mei, Y
  • Sun, Q
  • Sun, X
  • Wang, K
  • Xiao, L
  • Yang, P
  • Zhou, W
  • et al.

We report the design and characterization of a CMOS pixel direct charge sensor, Topmetal-II-, fabricated in a standard 0.35 μm CMOS Integrated Circuit process. The sensor utilizes exposed metal patches on top of each pixel to directly collect charge. Each pixel contains a low-noise charge-sensitive preamplifier to establish the analog signal and a discriminator with tunable threshold to generate hits. The analog signal from each pixel is accessible through time-shared multiplexing over the entire array. Hits are read out digitally through a column-based priority logic structure. Tests show that the sensor achieved a <15e-analog noise and a 200e-minimum threshold for digital readout per pixel. The sensor is capable of detecting both electrons and ions drifting in gas. These characteristics enable its use as the charge readout device in future Time Projection Chambers without gaseous gain mechanism, which has unique advantages in low background and low rate-density experiments.

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