Delayline Detector

A. Oelsner, P. Bernhard, D. Valdaitsev, T. Berg, T. Bos (Institut für Physik, now Surface Concept GmbH, Mainz), G. Schönhense

Cooperation in the early stage of the development:
H. Schmidt-Böcking, O. Jagutzki (Univ. Frankfurt)

A delay line detector (DLD) is a position (x, y) and time (t) sensitive microchannel plate area detector for imaging of single counted particles with or without temporal resolution in the pico-second range. The position of an incoming particle (precision  20-100 microns, depending on anode layout) is determined via a precise measurement of the time delay of the signal pulse at both sides of two crossed delay lines, see Fig.1 (all figures from Surface Concept homepage). The arrival time of the particle (time resolution 140-240ps) is determined from the time average. (x, y, t)-histograms are gathered over very many excitation cycles of the particle generating process as the system is a single counting device.

Particle images can be collected from continuous running processes with randomly incoming particle sequences without time correlation as well. The dead time of these single counting devices are as small as 10 ns – 20 ns, which enables even live imaging with highest sensitivity, collecting high count rates of randomly incoming particles in the millions counts per second range, as well as imaging with a very high dynamic range of 106. Unlike for other pico-second imagers, delay line detectors collect all incoming particle hits continuously without any gate window duty cycles, thus (besides the device dead time limits) all hits are collected even when they represent random time positions within the excitation cycle time period.

Early DLD applications were used at the orange type beta spectrometer (GSI Darmstadt / Univ. Mainz) [1], for X-ray/UV astronomy, GALEX, COS, FUSE missions (Space Science Lab Berkeley) [2] and for ion recoil and fragment spectroscopy (Univ. Frankfurt) [3]. Our development started in the mid 1990s in the framework of a cooperation with the group at Univ. Frankfurt (Prof. Schmidt-Böcking, Dr. Jagutzki), applying the delayline particle detection technique for time resolved imaging in PEEM [4]. The method develops it full potential in the field of pulsed laser excitation [5]. Since 2005 the Surface Concept GmbH, a spin-off company of the University group commercializes various types of delayline detectors, see Fig.3.


[1] H. Keller, G. Klingelhöfer, and E. Kankeleit; A position sensitive microchannelplate detector using a delay line readout anode; Nucl. Instrum. Methods A 258 (1987) 221-224
[2] M. Lampton, O. Siegmund, and R. Raffanti; Delay line anodes for microchannel-plate spectrometers; Rev. Sci. Instrum. 12 (1987) 2298-2305
[3] I. Ali, R. Dörner, O. Jagutzki, S. Nuttgens, V. Mergel, L. Spielberger, Kh. Khayyat, T. Vogt, H. Brauning, K. Ullmann, R. Moshammer, J. Ullrich, S. Hagmann, K.-O. Groeneveld, C. L. Cocke, and H. Schmidt-Bocking, Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. B 149 (1999) 490
[4] A. Oelsner, O. Schmidt, M. Schicketanz, M.J. Klais, G. Schönhense, V. Mergel, O. Jagutzki, H. Schmidt-Böcking; Microspectroscopy and  imaging using a delayline-detector in time-of-flight photoemission microscopy; Rev. Sci. Instrum. 72 (2001) 3968-3974
[5] A. Oelsner, M. Rohmer, Ch. Schneider, D. Bayer, G. Schönhense, M. Aeschlimann; Time- and Energy resolved photoemission electron microscopy – imaging of photoelectron time-of-flight analysis by means of pulsed excitations; J. Electron Spectrosc. Relat. Phenom. 178-179 (2010) 317-330


Figure 1: Operation principle of the delayline detector.


Figure 2: Spatial resolution and linearity of the meander-type delayline detector.

Figure 3: Commercialization of the delayline detector in the spin-off company Surface Concept GmbH.


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Last update: Friday, 09-Dec-2011 14:04:05 CET Email D. Panzer Impressum