High frequency, high time resolution time-to-digital converter employing passive resonating circuits

Ripamonti, Giancarlo; Abba, Andrea; Geraci, Angelo
May 2010
Review of Scientific Instruments;May2010, Vol. 81 Issue 5, p054705
Academic Journal
A method for measuring time intervals accurate to the picosecond range is based on phase measurements of oscillating waveforms synchronous with their beginning and/or end. The oscillation is generated by triggering an LC resonant circuit, whose capacitance is precharged. By using high Q resonators and a final active quenching of the oscillation, it is possible to conjugate high time resolution and a small measurement time, which allows a high measurement rate. Methods for fast analysis of the data are considered and discussed with reference to computing resource requirements, speed, and accuracy. Experimental tests show the feasibility of the method and a time accuracy better than 4 ps rms. Methods aimed at further reducing hardware resources are finally discussed.


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