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Advances in Detector and Spectrometer Technology


Nuclear physics research has a need for devices to detect, analyze, and track charged particles, and neutral particles such as neutrons, neutrinos, photons, and single atoms. Grant applications are sought to develop (1) photosensitive devices such as avalanche photodiodes, hybrid photomultiplier devices, single and multiple anode photomultiplier tubes, silicon-based photomultipliers, high-intensity (~1020 ?/s) gammaray current-readout detectors (e.g., Compton Diodes), photodiodes for operation at liquid helium temperatures with a signal-to-noise ratio comparable to a photomultiplier tube, photomultiplier tubes designed to work in a liquid helium environment, and other novel photon detectors; (2) detectors utilizing photocathodes for Cherenkov, visible and ultra-violet (UV) light detection, and new types of large-area photo-emissive materials such as solid, liquid, or gas photocathodes; (3) liquid argon and xenon ionization chambers and other cryogenic detectors; (4) single-atom detectors using laser techniques and electromagnetic traps; (5) particle polarization detectors; (6) electromagnetic and hadronic calorimeters, including high energy neutron detectors; and (7) systems for detecting the magnetization of polarized nuclei in a magnetic field (e.g., Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices (SQUIDs) or cells with paramagnetic atoms that employ large pickup loops to surround the sample).

With respect to particle identification detectors, grant applications are sought for the development of: (1) cost-effective, large-area, high-quality Cherenkov materials; (2) costeffective, position sensitive, large-sized photon detection devices for Cherenkov counters; (3) high resolution time-of-flight detectors, such as Microchannel Plates (MCPs), Multigap Resistive Plate Chambers (MRPCs), and Geiger Avalanche Photodiodes (GAPDs), with the goal of attaining a time resolution of < 10 ps over large areas; (4) affordable methods for the production of large volumes of xenon and krypton gas (which would contribute to the development of transition radiation detectors and also would have many applications in X-ray detectors); (5) very high resolution particle detectors or bolometers (including the required thermistors) based on semiconductor materials and cryogenic techniques;. Of particular interest are detector technologies capable of measuring energies of alpha particles and protons with less than 5 keV resolution, thereby allowing spectroscopy experiments using light charged particles to be performed in the same way as spectroscopy experiments using gammas.

In addition, grant applications are sought to develop devices designed to perform precision calibration of the detectors listed above. Such devices include novel, controllable calibration sources for electrons, gammas, alphas, and neutrons; pulsed calibration sources for neutrons, gammas, and electrons; precision charged particle beams; and pulsed UV optical sources.

Grant applications also are sought for the development of tilted solenoids for spectrometers. In high field devices, iron has the undesirable property that saturation effects change the field characteristics as a function of induction. However, without iron, the stray fields are very often unacceptably high. For superconducting solenoids this problem can be solved by active shielding. The development of magnet systems with tilted crossed solenoid windings and active shielding could provide a solution for a broad variety of ironless superconducting dipoles, which, for example, could be used in high-acceptance spectrometers like the ISLA spectrometer planned for FRIB. Interested parties should contact Dr. Daniel Bazin, NSCL/MSU (

Finally, grant applications are sought for innovative designs of high-resolution particle separators and spectrometers for research programs associated with next-generation rare isotope beam and intense stable beam facilities. Developments of interest include both air-core and iron dominated superconducting magnets that use either conventional low-temperature conductor or new medium to high temperature conductors. Such magnets are needed for magnetic spectrometers, fragment separators, and beam transport systems. Innovative designs such as elliptical aperture multipoles and other combined function magnets are of interest. Also, there is a need for cryogenics systems in the mid-capacity range for use with superconducting spectrometers for nuclear physics. The emphasis is on cryogenic systems with higher capacity, improved efficiency, and reduced maintenance requirements at both low (4-20 K) and intermediate temperatures (50-77 K) relative to the present generation of cryocoolers. Interested parties should contact Dr. J. A. Nolen, Jr. at Argonne National Laboratory (

Questions - contact Manouchehr Farkhondeh,

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