Silicon Drift Detectors for High Resolution Radioxenon Measurements

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-10ER85939
Agency Tracking Number: 94911
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: 53 b
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0000161
Small Business Information
31057 Genstar Road, Hayward, CA, 94544
DUNS: 807959390
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Wolfgang Hennig
 (510) 401-5760
Business Contact
 William Warburton
Title: Dr.
Phone: (510) 401-5760
Research Institution
The detection of radioactive xenon is an important component of both national and international efforts to detect nuclear explosions. Existing radioxenon detection systems have high sensitivity, but a better discrimination of Xe isotopes is desirable to better distinguish the radioxenon background created by nuclear power plants and medical isotope facilities from a nuclear explosion. Existing systems are also very complex, requiring cryocoolers to reach the operating temperatures for germanium detectors or multiple detectors for beta/gamma coincidence rejection. In the proposed effort, silicon drift detectors will be explored as a possible alternative to existing radioxenon detector systems. Silicon drift detectors are sensitive to beta radiation; have very high resolution for X-ray energies that the existing systems can not clearly distinguish; and as compact, solid state devices can be made into simpler systems. On the other hand, their detection efficiency is lower, so that the Phase I goal is a careful study of the improvements and drawbacks compared to the existing detector system. If considered feasible from the results of Phase I, a silicon drift detector prototype for radioxenon detection will be developed in Phase II. Commercial applications and other benefits: The technology to be developed in this project, if successful, will support the efforts by US agencies and the International Monitoring System established by the Comprehensive Nuclear

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

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