Status of the R&D activities for the upgrade of the ALICE TPC
GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH, Planckstraße 1, 64291 Darmstadt
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Published online: 21 February 2018
After the Long Shutdown 2 (LS2) the LHC will provide lead–lead collisions at interaction rates as high as 50 kHz. In order to cope with such conditions the ALICE Time Projection Chamber (TPC) needs to be upgraded.
After the upgrade the TPC will run in a continuous mode, without any degradation of the momentum and dE/dx resolution compared to the performance of the present TPC. Since readout by multi-wire proportional chambers is no longer feasible with these requirements, new technologies have to be employed. In the new readout chambers the electron amplification is provided by a stack of four Gas ElectronMultiplier (GEM) foils. Here foils with a standard hole pitch of 140 μm as well as large pitch foils (280 μm) are used. Their high voltage settings and orientation have been optimised to provide an energy resolution of σE/E ≤ 12% at the photopeak of 55Fe. At the same settings the Ion BackFlow into the drift volume is less than 1% of the effective number of ions produced during gas amplification and the primary ionisations. This is necessary to prevent the accumulation of space charge, which eventually will distort the field in the drift volume. To ensure stable operation at the high loads during LHC run 3 the chambers have to be robust against discharges, too. With the selected configuration in a quadruple GEMstack the discharge probability is kept at the level of 10-12 discharges per incoming hadron. An overview of the ALICE TPC upgrade activities will be given in these proceedings and the optimised settings foreseen for the GEM stacks of the future readout chambers are introduced. Furthermore the outcome of two beam time campaigns at SPS and PS (at CERN) in the end of 2014 is shown. At this campaigns the stability against discharges and the dE/dx performance of a full size readout chamber prototype was tested. In addition it is reported on charging-up studies of 4GEM stacks and on tests of electromagnetic sagging of large GEM foils.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2018
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