We present detailed laboratory measurements of the lifetime of a small test chamber, simulating the Mark III straw vertex chamber conditions. The tests were carried out with an argon-ethane 50 50 gas mixture at 3 atm absolute pressure and 3.9 kV applied to the wires. After the accumulation of ∼ 0.02 C/cm on a single straw, continuous discharges began. The addition of alcohol or water vapor to the gas mixture was found to extend the lifetime of the straws. Continuous flow of the gas mixture with water vapor through the straws prolonged the lifetime significantly. We present results on the effects of changing the gas mixture inside the straws at regular time intervals. Adding a small percentage of water vapor to the argon-ethane gas and flowing the gas mixture in the straws can improve the lifetime by more than an order of magnitude. An accumulated charge of 1.0 C/cm on a single straw has been obtained.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics