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Highly Transparent Aerogel with Refractive Index < 1.01 for High Energy Particle Detection

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0019536
Agency Tracking Number: 242265
Amount: $149,896.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 31d
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001940
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-02-19
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-11-18
Small Business Information
6100 Bayliss Knoll Court
Alexandria, VA 22310-2273
United States
DUNS: 080417062
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Tanja Horn
 (757) 912-1728
Business Contact
 Ian Pegg
Phone: (240) 593-7906
Research Institution
 Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Avenue
Washington, DC 20064-0002
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

Cherenkov radiation, caused by fast charged particles in a transparent medium, is widely used for charged particle identification. To date, gaseous, liquid, and solid radiators have been used as sources of Cherenkov radiation. Aerogels with low refractive index and high light transmittance, are highly desirable for Cherenkov detectors. Development and testing of aerogels with a refractive index as low as 1.008 and high optical quality, which has not been utilized previously, is the key to future Cherenkov detector upgrades and low energy particle detection studies. The major needs of the field of high energy physics in the use of aerogel for Cherenkov detectors are currently two-fold: 1) low refractive index (< 1.01) and 2) tiles of larger dimensions and thickness than the typical 10 x 10 x 1 cm3. Phase I of this work will demonstrate the potential of these materials and production technology through fabrication and characterization of their performance. The work will also address optimization of aspects of the aerogels that affect performance characteristics in order to support scale-up in subsequent phases of the project. The ability to manufacture high quality monolithic aerogels will prove useful not only for Cherenkov detection but also for fenestration or window thermal insulation applications that would significantly save energy and protect the environment via lower energy consumption. Transparent aerogels will find use in the Building and Construction market as insulated translucent window panes.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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