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ASIC-Coupled Microchannel Plate for Time Resolved, Single-Photon Soft X-ray Detection

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0021458
Agency Tracking Number: 0000255913
Amount: $200,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 15a
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-02-22
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-11-21
Small Business Information
78 Schuyler Baldwin Drive
Fairport, NY 14550-9100
United States
DUNS: 167029235
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Benjamin Martin
 (585) 278-1168
Business Contact
 Mark Katafiaz
Phone: (585) 278-1168
Research Institution

Synchrotron light sources and X-ray free electron lasers are now generating shorter pulses with more intense light than ever before possible, granting unparalleled access to new discoveries. X-ray detectors have not kept pace with these improvements. The field of soft x-ray detection is particularly behind in detector development due to low signal levels resulting from the lower energy x-rays and high vacuum requirements. Existing detectors are often not commercially available, and do not address the need for single photon counting, event counting, and high image resolution simultaneously. This technology gap prevents advancements in fields like time resolved photoemission or x-ray photon-correlation spectroscopy. The proposed program will advance the development of a novel coupled microchannel plate (MCP) - application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) soft x-ray detector (CAMP) for multi-event encoding soft x-ray experiments. Laboratory-level prototypes of the CAMP detector have demonstrated single photon sensitivity and ability to correlate 104 simultaneous events with < 2 ns time resolution using a Timepix3 ASIC. The technology exists in a laboratory setting, but is not widely available to the soft x-ray community as a whole. The proposed program will leverage the developments existing in the literature and investigate the feasibility of transitioning the technology to a commercial instrument. The primary objective of the proposed program is to leverage the laboratory research and development in the literature and define a program to produce a commercial prototype. This will be done through leveraging connections with the user community to define detector requirements, creating a knowledge base of existing laboratory prototypes, and Sydor’s experience commercializing similar x-ray detectors alongside the scientific community. Phase I will culminate in a conceptual design for a commercial prototype to be produced in Phase II along with a product road map for future product releases. A robust and commercially supported detector with the combined low signal amplification of an MCP and simultaneous event encoding ability of an ASIC will enable discovery in soft x-ray experiments not currently possible. Current commercial offerings often use indirect detection which limits temporal resolution, and are only capable of counting < 10 simultaneous events (multi-anode photomultiplier tubes). This proposed CAMP detector will provide good time resolution, < 10 µm spatial resolution with centroiding, and encoding of up to ~ 104 simultaneous single photon events, drastically improving scientist’s ability to collect data, and allowing greater insight into materials.

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

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