We are developing a photodetector sensitive to liquid noble gas scintillation light which is able to operate down to liquid nitrogen temperature (77 K). It has to be a simple, cheap and compact device, with a photocathode surface comparable to that of photomultipliers and it has to be able to produce fast signals for timing and triggering purposes. We studied the possibility of coupling a standard photocathode to a suitable electron multiplication system in gas; this would offer a cheap alternative to the use of photomultipliers. Gas avalanche multiplication at cryogenic temperatures and low pressure was observed in a small prototype chamber. Gains of the order of 103 were obtained in pure argon, while gains up to 105 were achieved using argon/methane mixture in cryogenic environment. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Brunetti, R., Calligarich, E., Cambiaghi, M., De Vecchi, C., Dolfini, R., Menegolli, A., … Vignoli, C. (2006). Study of electron avalanche multiplication in gaseous argon detectors at low pressure and operating at cryogenic temperature. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, 558(2), 511–515. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nima.2005.12.133