The hadron identification in the PANDA experiment at FAIR will be done with DIRC detectors. Because of design and space reasons the sensors of the DIRCs have to be placed inside the strong magnetic field of the solenoid. As the favored photon sensors microchannel-plate photomultipliers (MCP-PMTs) were identified. However, these devices showed serious aging problems until very recently, which manifest themselves by a fast degrading quantum efficiency (QE) of the photo cathode (PC). This is mainly due to feedback ions from the residual gas. In this paper we discuss the recently accomplished huge improvements in the lifetime of MCP-PMTs. With innovative countermeasures applied to the MCP-PMTs in the attempt to reduce the aging effects the manufacturers were able to increase the lifetime of MCP-PMT prototypes by almost two orders of magnitude compared to the former commercially available devices. Our group has studied the aging of MCP-PMTs for more than four years by simultaneously illuminating different types of lifetime-enhanced MCP-PMTs at the same photon rate. Gain, dark count rate, and QE as a function of the wavelength and the PC surface were measured in regular time intervals and studied in dependence of the integrated anode charge. We observe that MCP-PMTs treated with an atomic layer deposition (ALD) technique are by far the best devices available now. A lifetime of up to 10
C/cm2 integrated anode charge was reached with these sensors. This is sufficient for both PANDA DIRCs.