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Distortion Free Large-Area Detector for Neutron Scattering

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0019708
Agency Tracking Number: 242233
Amount: $149,999.93
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 17b
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): 2019-10-18
Small Business Information
44 Hunt Street
Watertown, MA 02472-4699
United States
DUNS: 073804411
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Vivek Nagarkar
 (617) 668-6937
Business Contact
 Mary Abud
Phone: (617) 668-6809
Research Institution

Single crystal diffractometers which require large solid angle coverage for optimum performance typically have large gaps in detector coverage. These regions, which can be a significant fraction of the detectors active area, result in a performance that suffers from degraded resolution, distortion and gamma rejection. This effect is due in large part to the nature of the flat sensor surface that requires tiling to approximate a spherical surface. The spherical surface is needed to reduce parallax errors and minimize changes in angular resolution as one progresses to the edge of the detector. A spherical detector surface would effectively address this issue while allowing the elimination of most boundary areas. We are addressing this specific issue in the proposed program. The problem will be addressed by developing a detector that offers spherical active area with the desired radius of curvature, high spatial resolution which would translate into fine angular resolution, high detection efficiency for neutron wavelengths of interest, and large active area. This innovative approach will use an advanced sensor capable of simultaneously providing high signal strength to enhance the signal to noise ratio (SNR), very high spatial resolution, high detection efficiency and excellent gamma rejection commensurate with the diffractometer needs, and can be economically formed on a large spherical surface. The sensor will be coupled to a readout sensor via suitable conduit, the electronics for which has already been developed at our collaborators facility. The goal of the proposed Phase I is to demonstrate feasibility of our design. During Phase I, we will conduct (1) chemical synthesis of the sensor compound, (2) develop protocols for sensor application onto a spherical surface, and (3) assemble a prototype detector/s and characterize their performance at the HFIR, ORNL beamline to demonstrate feasibility. We will work closely with our collaborators and the RMD corporate officials for manufacturing and translating this transformative technology into commercial space. A spherical detector providing angular coverage >2π solid angle with minimal or no dead area between active regions is needed for single crystal diffractometers, for protein crystallography instruments, and for Laue diffraction studies. Such a detector will be well suited for determining atomic positions and displacement parameters of light elements (such as hydrogen) next to heavy metals in advanced materials or new drugs, and will be an ideal solution for studying magnetic structures, phase transitions, disorder, and local structure phenomena. Research in each of these areas will directly benefit public as it will accelerate the development of new drugs, novel materials, and systems, all of which have a direct impact on health care, quality of life, addressing nation’s future energy needs, and will permit widening of our technology base.

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

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