Avalanche photodiode based time-of-flight mass spectrometry

Keiichi Ogasawara, Stefano A. Livi, Mihir I. Desai, Robert W. Ebert, David J. McComas, Brandon C. Walther

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This study reports on the performance of Avalanche Photodiodes (APDs) as a timing detector for ion Time-of-Flight (TOF) mass spectroscopy. We found that the fast signal carrier speed in a reach-through type APD enables an extremely short timescale response with a mass or energy independent <2 ns rise time for <200 keV ions (1-40 AMU) under proper bias voltage operations. When combined with a microchannel plate to detect start electron signals from an ultra-thin carbon foil, the APD comprises a novel TOF system that successfully operates with a <0.8 ns intrinsic timing resolution even using commercial off-the-shelf constant-fraction discriminators. By replacing conventional total-energy detectors in the TOF-Energy system, APDs offer significant power and mass savings or an anti-coincidence background rejection capability in future space instrumentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number083302
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation


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