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A Novel Cost Effective Method for Growing High Performance Radiation Sensors

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Threat Reduction Agency
Contract: HDTRA1-10-C-0073
Agency Tracking Number: T2-0171
Amount: $749,963.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: DTRA082-007
Solicitation Number: 2008.2
Solicitation Year: 2008
Award Year: 2010
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2010-06-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2012-05-31
Small Business Information
44 Hunt Street, Watertown, MA, -
DUNS: 073804411
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Vivek Nagarkar
 Group Leader
 (617) 668-6800
Business Contact
 Gerald Entine
Title: President
Phone: (617) 668-6800
Research Institution
Certain lanthanide halides have significantly higher light output than NaI:Tl, the comparison standard for scintillators, plus other important properties, including fast decay times and excellent proportionality. Unfortunately, lanthanide halides grown by traditional melt processes have high production costs and limited availability. Crystals are usually limited to about 5 cm x 5 cm, right cylinder, and current growth techniques produce non-uniform dopant distributions (causing light output variation within the crystal, degrading energy resolution) and tend to produce asymmetric crystal structures (which tend to induce cracking). Even if these problems could be overcome for current fabrication methods, resulting material costs would be extraordinarily high. We therefore propose a rapid, alternate method to fabricate very thick, large area lanthanide halide slabs, in volume, at an order of magnitude reduced cost. This technique also allows formation of unconventional compositions that may further enhance scintillation properties—impossible using existing technologies. The Phase I research successfully demonstrated the feasibility of our novel growth technique, and our results exceeded expectations in many respects. The goal of Phase II is to extend the Phase I research to produce the large volume material, while achieving bright emission and excellent energy resolution, and commence efforts necessary for technology commercialization.

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