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Silicon Drift Detectors for High Resolution Radioxenon Measurements

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
53 b
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Xia, Llc
31057 Genstar Rd Hayward, CA 94544-7831
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: Silicon Drift Detectors for High Resolution Radioxenon Measurements
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-10ER85939
Award Amount: $100,000.00


The detection of radioactive xenon is an important component of both national and international efforts to detect nuclear explosions. Existing radioxenon detection systems have high sensitivity, but a better discrimination of Xe isotopes is desirable to better distinguish the radioxenon background created by nuclear power plants and medical isotope facilities from a nuclear explosion. Existing systems are also very complex, requiring cryocoolers to reach the operating temperatures for germanium detectors or multiple detectors for beta/gamma coincidence rejection. In the proposed effort, silicon drift detectors will be explored as a possible alternative to existing radioxenon detector systems. Silicon drift detectors are sensitive to beta radiation; have very high resolution for X-ray energies that the existing systems can not clearly distinguish; and as compact, solid state devices can be made into simpler systems. On the other hand, their detection efficiency is lower, so that the Phase I goal is a careful study of the improvements and drawbacks compared to the existing detector system. If considered feasible from the results of Phase I, a silicon drift detector prototype for radioxenon detection will be developed in Phase II. Commercial applications and other benefits: The technology to be developed in this project, if successful, will support the efforts by US agencies and the International Monitoring System established by the Comprehensive Nuclear

Principal Investigator:

Wolfgang Hennig

Business Contact:

William Warburton
Small Business Information at Submission:

Xia, Llc
31057 Genstar Road Hayward, CA 94544

EIN/Tax ID: 161645536
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No