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Broadband Amplifier for PMT and SiPM

bbamplifier

We describe, in this post, the use of a MMIC device (Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit) as the front-end electronics for the amplification of the signals generated by a photomultiplier. This type of device has the advantage of offering a very wide bandwidth (up to 2 GHz in our case), low noise, and to have a very competitive price.
With a band of 2 GHz you can faithfully amplify very short pulses, up to 10 ns, so as to preserve the original pulse timing .

These devices are easily found on the online market and they are practically ready to be used, since they only require the connection of a power source.

The “heart” of the amplifier is the MMIC (monolithic integrated amplifier as INA-02184 and INA-02186). These devices are designed for applications requiring high-gain, broadband and low noise, such as the RF amplifier circuits.

In the image below you can see the amplifier scheme.

bias

The equipment that we used has the following characteristics:

Frequency: 1-2000MHz
Gain: Gp>30dB
Noise figure: 2dB @500MHz
Output power: P1db>13dBm
Power supply voltage: 9-12V
Working current: about 30-40mA
Maximum output power 12dBm (P1dB) (1-2000MHz)
Size: 6 x 2.6cm

The broad band amplifier has been used in the following cases :

  • Cherenkov Detector
  • Photon Counter
  • SiPM with LYSO scintillator

Cherenkov Detector

img_20160903_153632

The broadband amplifier has been placed at the output of the detector, with a load resistance of 50Ω. Even at the amplifier output is placed a load resistance of 50Ω, in parallel to which the amplified signal is taken. The picture on the right shows the setup.
The signal before the amplification has very low amplitude, at the output  an amplified pulse of about 30 dB is obtained with a low noise level and a duration equal to the original one.
The tracks reported below show the signal before and after amplification.

Before amplification : 5mVpp – 80ns
After amplification : 100mVpp – 80ns

pmtcherenkov

pmtcherenkovbbampli

Photon Counter

img_20160905_210435

As for the Cherenkov detector, even for the photon counter the broadband amplifier has been placed at the output of the PMT, with a load resistance of 50Ω. Even at the amplifier output is placed a load resistance of 50Ω, in parallel to which the amplified signal is taken. The image shown on the right shows the setup.
The signal before the amplification has very low amplitude, at the output  an amplified pulse of about 30 dB is obtained with a low noise level and a duration equal to the original one.
The tracks reported below show the signal before and after amplification.

Before amplification : 10mVpp – 120ns
After amplification : 150mVpp – 120ns

photons

photonsamplibb

SiPM

img_20160904_181431

The test with the SiPM has been done with the setup shown in the side image. Also in this case we have been used in input and output 50Ω load resistances.
In the case of SiPMs the signal already has a non-negligible amplitude. In output we obtain a fine signal of nearly 1 V with a duration of less than 200 ns.

Before amplification : 30mVpp – 200ns
After amplification : 800mVpp – 200ns

sipm

sipmbbampli

Conclusions

We can conclude that the tests carried out show that the broadband amplifier module based on MMIC can be conveniently used for the amplification of signals produced by the PMT and the SiPM. The main advantages are:
– Wide band
– Low noise
– Low cost

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