The suitability of single-crystal diamond made by chemical vapour deposition for particle identification in heavy-ion experiments and for precise timing of relativistic ions and minimum-ionizing protons is investigated. Characterisation data of various samples and their influence to the detector performance are discussed. The lifetime of the charge carriers is found to be much longer than the transition time of the particle-generated charge through the detector, confirming the complete charge collection measured with both, traversing high-energetic electrons from 90 Sr sources and stopped alpha particles from mixed-nuclide sources. For such α-particles of a mean energy around 5.5 MeV, an energy resolution ∆E =17 keV (FWHM) is measured. The flat-top timing signals show commonly uniform rise times < 200 ps limited only by the electronics bandwidth. The drift velocity of electrons at operation bias is v e dr ˜ 80 µm/ns, whereas holes drift with v h dr = 100 µm/ns. Thus, the expected count-rate capability of a detector with a thickness in the order of 300 µm amounts to 10 8 particles /s
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