A CAEN DT5742 digitizer has been investigated to process the fast signals from the photomultiplier tubes of the time-of-flight detectors for fast ion beams. A test setup consisting of two plastic scintillation detectors and a pulsed laser source provided signals which were recorded by the digitizer and systematically analyzed with different algorithms to derive the amplitude, rise time and arrival time of the detection signal. To obtain the best amplitude and time resolutions, various optimization techniques including peak fitting and signal smoothing, interpolation improvement, and time-walk correction by amplitude and rise time have been performed and compared in detail. We compared the time resolutions obtained by three digital algorithms of leading-edge, zero-crossing constant-fraction (ZC-CFD) and direct constant-fraction discriminations. Finally, we found that the best time-of-flight resolution between two PMTs can be achieved as 12 ps by the method using sample minimum for peak location and using the time-walk-resistant ZC-CFD with 4-point interpolation for timing.
- CAEN DT5742 digitizer
- Plastic scintillation detector
- Timing algorithms