Liquid argon time projection chambers (LArTPCs) have historically employed planes of sense wires to detect ionization trails in the medium. However, ambiguities arise when the ionization electrons travel parallel or perpendicular to the plane orientation. The problem is particularly challenging in high-occupancy environments, such as the near detector of the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). These ambiguities can be resolved by a pixelated charge readout, which provides native three-dimensional information on the ionization trail.
Here we present a novel, ton-scale, single-phase LArTPC with pixelated readout based on the ArgonCube design concept. The detector features also an advanced high-coverage photon detection system and a low-profile resistive-shell field cage. We show the results of the deployment of two identical ton-scale prototypes, operated at the University of Bern in 2021 and 2022. We demonstrate detector capabilities including the performance of the charge and light readout systems and signal matching between the two, detector purity and response uniformity. We will also compare the data to a microphysical detector simulation, performed with highly-parallelized GPU algorithms. These successful prototypes validate key aspects of the design of the liquid argon near detector (ND-LAr) for DUNE.