You are here

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: 0000263771
Amount: $1,150,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: C51-15a
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-04-04
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-04-03
Small Business Information
78 Schuyler Baldwin Drive
Fairport, NY 14450-9100
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 lagging 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 for multi-event encoding soft x-ray experiments. Laboratory prototypes of the detector demonstrated single photon sensitivity correlation of 104 simultaneous events with < 2 ns time resolution using a commercial ASIC. The technology exists in a laboratory setting but is not widely available to the soft x-ray community. The proposed program will leverage developments in the literature and begin transitioning the technology to a commercial instrument. During Phase I, a conceptual commercial design and preliminary product roadmap. Steps needed to bring existing laboratory level technology to a commercial level were scoped. The team identified a microchannel plate manufacturing partner and selected a commercially available application specific integrated circuit most suitable for user applications. In addition, a system architecture for the first commercial prototype based on existing detector technology at the small business. The system is composed of a backplane board suitable for connecting multiple ASICs packaged as sensors for the detector. The primary objective of the proposed program is to test a commercial prototype at a beamline or equivalent soft x-ray source. A system will be designed and built to accommodate an in-vacuum sensor assembly consisting of the integrated circuit and microchannel plate, design commercial level electronics, and readout architecture design. Electronics and readout systems include design and layout of front-end detector electronics, frame grabber cards, and a user interface. Input from potential customers and beamline scientists will be integrated into the design and future product roadmap throughout the process. A robust and commercially supported detector with the low signal amplification of a microchannel plate and simultaneous event encoding ability of a commercial integrated circuit 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 detector will provide good time resolution, < 10 µm spatial resolution with centroiding, and encoding thousands of 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. *

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government