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Stable Semiconductor Modules as Core Component in Pager Radiation Detectors


OBJECTIVE: To develop a semiconductor-based module for enhanced radiation detectors in pager applications. The selected semiconductor materials shall have neutron or gamma detection capability. Design and performance objectives shall satisfy or exceed the requirements set forth in the ANSI standards N42.32.

DESCRIPTION: Advances in radiation detection materials will greatly impact our present nuclear detection framework. Recent developments in semiconductor radiation detectors have provided a number of candidate materials for gamma and/or thermal neutron detection which can potentially provide low cost, high performance alternatives to the current COTS materials such as CsI and CZT for gammas and He-3 tube technology or LiI for neutrons. This topic area is soliciting efforts to further advance the state-of-the-art for materials that will be integrated into full detector devices or systems, such as personal radiation detectors (PRD's) in particular. The aspects of this topic will focus on materials and supporting technology development. The proposed approach shall also include efforts on integration of the module into a pager-based detector system. Each module should demonstrate long-term (>2 year), stable operation when controlled to operate at temperatures at or near room-temperature, but need to be able to be used in the ambient temperature ranges per the ANSI standards noted above. Materials of interest for this topic are limited to semiconductor-based technologies. Proposals submitted against this topic must address one of the following approaches listed below:
For each approach, the proposal can include one or more candidate materials.
For each approach, the proposal can include one or more candidate materials.
• Neutron-based Modules

  • Material candidates for neutron-based modules for pagers can include, but are not limited to: boron-filled 3-D semiconductor structures, LiInSe2, or other neutron-sensitive, semiconductor-based compounds. Neutron intrinsic efficiencies should be greater than 50%.

• Gamma-based modules

  • Material candidates for gamma-based modules for pagers can include, but are not limited to: TlBr, Tl6SeI4 and other high-Z based semiconductor compounds.

The proposed approach for each sub-topic shall include discussion on electronics for readout and signal processing and shall address improvements over the current state-of-the-art. Materials developed as part of this SBIR, when coupled with advanced processing electronics and appropriate algorithms, will improve the detection of radiological and nuclear threats, and preferentially be capable of isotope identification.

PHASE I: The Offeror will identify one material as described in the aforementioned sub-topics. The Offeror must demonstrate feasibility of the selected material towards a viable detector. Furthermore, the Offeror must provide a preliminary design of the semiconductor module and integration plans into a pager-based system. Offeror shall identify and address all critical scientific and technical issues and risks.

PHASE II: The Offeror must demonstrate the integration of the module into a pager-detection system prototype. The Offeror must provide the final design and evaluation of the prototype system and further initiate the transition of the prototype system as a commercial product, with the identification of a transition partner.

PHASE III: COMMERCIAL OR GOVERNMENT APPLICATIONS: Design and demonstration of a production line of semiconductor modules for integration into pager-detector systems.

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