Nonlinear effects in the time measurement device based on surface acoustic wave filter excitation

Prochazka, Ivan; Panek, Petr
July 2009
Review of Scientific Instruments;Jul2009, Vol. 80 Issue 7, p076102
Academic Journal
A transversal surface acoustic wave filter has been used as a time interpolator in a time interval measurement device. We are presenting the experiments and results of an analysis of the nonlinear effects in such a time interpolator. The analysis shows that the nonlinear distortion in the time interpolator circuits causes a deterministic measurement error which can be understood as the time interpolation nonlinearity. The dependence of this error on time of the measured events can be expressed as a sparse Fourier series thus it usually oscillates very quickly in comparison to the clock period. The theoretical model is in good agreement with experiments carried out on an experimental two-channel timing system. Using highly linear amplifiers in the time interpolator and adjusting the filter excitation level to the optimum, we have achieved the interpolation nonlinearity below 0.2 ps. The overall single-shot precision of the experimental timing device is 0.9 ps rms in each channel.


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