Development of a High Dynamic Range Detection Scheme for a Time of Flight Experiment

by Mason D. Ruby

Supervisors:  Dr. Carlos Trallero, Dr. Brett DePaola

          Graduate Assistants: Stefan Zigo, Brandin Davis

Kansas State University Physics Department  REU Program

 This work is partially funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) through NSF grant number PHYS-1461251.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF or AFOSR.

Project Overview:

This summer, I worked to develop a detection scheme for an ionization experiment involving time-of-flight mass spectrometry.  The detection scheme needed to have a high dynamic range and high temporal resolution.  In order to achieve this, we used a lock-in amplifier which is an electronic device with a DC output proportional to a periodic input signal occurring with the same frequency as some reference signal.  Because the output of the lock-in was a DC signal, we originally could not obtain any temporal information.  However, we developed a method in which we change the phase of the reference signal with respect to the detector’s.  As the phase changes, so will the output of the lock-in, and if we take the derivative of the output we will obtain the original waveform of the signal.  If you would like to know more about my research, you can see my poster here.


Useful Links: 

I have found the following links particularly informative or useful:

American Physical Society Statements

American Institute of Physics

James R. Macdonald AMO Lab