At the high luminosity LHC (HL-LHC) about 200 concurrent interactions are expected, with a spread between the interaction vertices of few centimeters in the beam direction and 200 ps in the collision time. A time of flight resolution of the order of 30 ps would be able to reduce neutral particles pile-up contamination at the calorimeter level of about one order of magnitude, restoring pile-up conditions similar to what is routinely sustained in the current run of the LHC . Micro-channel plates have been used in PMT configuration as fast charged particles detector (resolution of better than 20 ps have been achieved with commercial devices), however they are not particularly radiation tolerant, mostly due to the ion feedback on the photocathode. The possibility of using micro-channel plates without a photocathode (i-MCP) has been studied in several test beams. Different MCP geometries are compared with the goal to identify the optimal configuration. Efficiency of more then 70% with a time resolution of better than 40 ps are achieved for single charged particles, leading to an efficiency close to 100% for EM shower after few radiation lengths. This open the possibility to use i-MCPs as a timing layer in a sampling calorimeter or to use it in a pre-shower device independent from the calorimeter technology.