Thin-Window P-Type Point-Contact Germanium Detectors for Rare Particle Detection
Difficulties associated with thick lithium-diffused entrance windows on the outside of p-type coaxial and point-contact germanium gamma-ray detectors have always been a technical hindrance. The lithium dead layer limits the low-energy detection range and adds background in the energy spectrum, thereby limiting commercial access to application areas including pure-science measurements, programmatic security measures, and clinical molecular-imaging supported by the Department of Energy. For large-scale low-background counting experiments to proceed with the best possible efficiency, better detector contact technology must be developed. Funding of this SBIR will provide the technical underpinnings to save tens of millions of dollars on low-background counting arrays built by the DOE during the next decade while providing detectors with better performance. A new thin contact technology, discovered by PHDs Co, has the potential to replace the ubiquitous thick lithium-diffused contact and, in doing so, provide an economical solution to these detection issues. The Phase I will experimentally demonstrate the viability of the new thin contact for low-background detector fabrication. The Phase II will experimentally develop the MJY commercial low-background detector product line to fill the need. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: In addition to low-background counting, the Federal Government supports both pure and applied science applications including nuclear physics, astrophysics, security, and nuclear medicine (molecular imaging) that will greatly benefit from the availability of this new detector technology.
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