Silicon Drift Detectors for High Resolution Radioxenon Measurements

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Energy
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$100,000.00
Award Year:
2010
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
DE-FG02-10ER85939
Agency Tracking Number:
94911
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
53 b
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Xia, Llc
31057 Genstar Road, Hayward, CA, 94544
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
807959390
Principal Investigator:
Wolfgang Hennig
Dr.
(510) 401-5760
whennig@xia.com
Business Contact:
William Warburton
Dr.
(510) 401-5760
bill@xia.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
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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