A single-sided, gridded, gas ionization chamber with digital read-out and a dedicated gas-flow control system was built as the first stage prototype of the Twin Ionization chamber for Fission Fragment Investigation (TIFFIN) detector. The detector was tested with an α-particle source, and the operating parameters of the detector were probed to establish its response. Investigation of the operating parameters of the prototype led to an energy resolution of 8.69(1)% when running the detector with a gas mixture of 90% argon and 10% methane (referred to as P10) at a gas pressure of 1800 Torr. Digital read-out of the signal allowed signal risetimes to be successfully evaluated on an event-by-event basis. However, electric field inconsistencies limited the energy resolution achievable. An electric field cage should be installed to encourage a uniform field between the detector plates. The Nuclear Science Laboratories at Simon Fraser University are embarking upon a program of research to address various topics of interest to modern science such as the origin, production, composition and structure of exotic, neutron-rich isotopes. The study of fission fragments is an effective way to investigate neutron-rich nuclei. Ionization chambers are an appropriate and versatile tool with which to study fission fragments, and can be built in such a way as to allow energy, mass and charge measurements of both fragments. The single-sided prototype is a crucial first step towards the final design which will allow such measurements.
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Thesis advisor: Starosta, Krzyzstof
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