Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006

Straw Performance Studies and Quality Assurance for the ATLAS Transition Radiation Tracker

Peter Cwetanski

Doctoral dissertation, June 2006.
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Sciences, Division of High Energy Physics and CERN - European Organization for Nuclear Research, Geneva, Switzerland.

The Transition Radiation Tracker (TRT) of the ATLAS experiment at the LHC is part of the Inner Detector. It is designed as a robust and powerful gaseous detector that provides tracking through individual drift-tubes (straws) as well as particle identification via transition radiation (TR) detection. The straw tubes are operated with Xe-CO2-O2 70/27/3, a gas that combines the advantages of efficient TR absorption, a short electron drift time and minimum ageing effects. The modules of the barrel part of the TRT were built in the United States while the end-cap wheels are assembled at two Russian institutes. Acceptance tests of barrel modules and end-cap wheels are performed at CERN before assembly and integration with the Semiconductor Tracker (SCT) and the Pixel Detector.

This thesis first describes simulations the TRT straw tube. The argon-based acceptance gas mixture as well as two xenon-based operating gases are examined for its properties. Drift velocities and Townsend coefficients are computed with the help of the program Magboltz and used to study electron drift and multiplication in the straw using the software Garfield. The inclusion of Penning transfers in the avalanche process leads to remarkable agreements with experimental data.

A high level of cleanliness in the TRT's acceptance test gas system is indispensable. To monitor gas purity, a small straw tube detector has been constructed and extensively used to study the ageing behaviour of the straw tube in Ar-CO2. A variety of ageing tests are presented and discussed.

Acceptance tests for the TRT survey dimensions, wire tension, gas-tightness, high-voltage stability and gas gain uniformity along each individual straw. The thesis gives details on acceptance criteria and measurement methods in the case of the end-cap wheels. Special focus is put on wire tension and straw straightness. The effect of geometrically deformed straws on gas gain and energy resolution is examined in an experimental setup and compared to simulation studies. An overview of the most important results from the end-cap wheels tested up to this point is presented.

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Last updated 02.06.2006

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