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Improved Solid-State Neutron Detector

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2008 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Agiltron Corporation
15 Presidential Way Woburn, MA 01801-1040
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2008
Title: Improved Solid-State Neutron Detector
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-08ER86336
Award Amount: $99,999.00


Improved methods of neutron detection are needed not only for nuclear physics research but also for international control of weapons and neutron based therapies in medical applications. He-3 tube-based neutron detectors and planar solid-state neutron detectors are the two currently available technologies for thermal neutron detection. Although He-3 tube-based neutron detectors have efficiencies up to 70 per cent, they are inherently costly and fragile, contain high gas pressures, and require high voltages to operate. These limitations restrict the environment in which they can be deployed and render them impractical as handheld devices. On the other hand, current solid-state detectors are compact, rugged, and operate at low voltages, but their neutron detection efficiencies are less than 5 per cent. This project will demonstrate a breakthrough detector for slow neutron detection, which overcomes the low sensitivity of current solid state detectors; holds the promise of improving the solid state neutron detector sensitivity to at least 70 per cent; is lightweight, compact, and radiation hard; and can be fabricated into a two dimensional array at a low cost. Phase I will demonstrate a detector element with high sensitivity. A fully functional arrayed detector will be developed in Phase II. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The detector technology would be expected to have commercialization potential in such applications as neutron detection for nuclear physics, homeland security, medical imaging, and industrial and environmental monitoring.

Principal Investigator:

Lawrence Domash

Business Contact:

Geoffrey Burnham
Small Business Information at Submission:

Agiltron, Inc.
15 Cabot Road Woburn, MA 01801

EIN/Tax ID: 043539587
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
University of California San Diego
Dept of Electrical & Computer
La Jolla, CA 92093
Contact: Yuhwa Lo
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university