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Thermal Expansion Matched Glass Frits used for Sealing Assemblies for Alpha Detection

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0021890
Agency Tracking Number: 0000259980
Amount: $206,500.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 02b
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-06-28
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-03-27
Small Business Information
825 North 300 West WA010
Salt Lake City, UT 84103-1459
United States
DUNS: 828133939
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Jim Steppan
 (801) 750-4928
Business Contact
 Balakrishnan Nair
Phone: (801) 897-1221
Research Institution

There is a shortfall in commercial capability for specialized detector fabrication with glass-to-metal seals for some nonproliferation needs, such as alpha detection in associated particle neutron generators. The DOE is interested in developing a reliably-produced source for hermetic glass-metal fiberoptic faceplate (FOP) assemblies that will be utilized in neutron imaging systems. The HiFunda team will leverage its extensive knowledge and experience with the development and use of high-temperature materials, seals, ceramic/glass processing, and leak testing to develop, demonstrate, and commercialize the capability to produce robust sealed FOP assemblies. In this project, HiFunda will work with ORNL and two developers of neutron generators, Starfire Industries, LLC and Adelphi Technologies, Inc., to develop voice-of-customer (VOC)-based FOP designs as well as a thermal-expansion matched glass frit material and robust processes for sealing FOP assemblies. Cost models will be established to identify cost drivers and to evaluate trade-offs between design, performance, and cost. A detailed commercialization plan will be developed and commercialization partners will be identified for participation in Phase II. The proposed approach will help enable state-of-the-art, portable, neutron generators for imaging thick objects for various DOE/NNSA mission spaces. This can also help portable neutron imaging become more commonplace similar in scale to the portable X-ray imaging market. Portable neutron imaging has immediate application for exquisite non-destructive characterization which is the cornerstone of advanced manufacturing, assuring the integrity of electronic supply chains, nuclear non-proliferation treaty verification and stockpile stewardship, and other security applications such as port of entry security, emergency response and radioactive waste storage.

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

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