DEVELOPMENT OF AN IMPROVED DETECTOR FOR KR-81 AND OTHER NOBLE GAS ISOTOPES

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 7562
Amount: $48,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1988
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
10521 Research Drive, Suite 300, Knoxville, TN, 37932
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 DR G S HURST
 () -
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
THE IMPORTANCE OF COUNTING NOBLE GAS ATOMS WITH ISOTOPIC SELECTIVITY STEMS FROM THE PRACTICAL FACT THAT THESE ATOMS CAN BE REMOVED FROM LARGE QUANTITITES OF MATERIALS, AND IF COUNTED INDIVIDUALLY, OFFER OPPORTUNITIES FOR PARTICLE PHYSICS, DATING, ENVIRONMENTAL, AND MEDICAL APPLICATIONS. RESONANCE IONIZATION SPECTROSCOPY (RIS), COMBINED WITH MASS SPECTROSCOPY, HAS LED TO A SYSTEM FOR COUNTING KR-81 (OR OTHER ISOTOPES OF KR OR XE) DOWN TO ABOUT THE LEVEL OF 1,000 ATOMS IN A SAMPLE. HOWEVER, A MUCH IMPROVED DETECTOR (RISTRON) WOULD UTILIZE A NEW PRINCIPLE WHEREIN THE SAMPLE ATOMS ARE STORED IN A SEMICONDUCTING TARGET SUCH AS SILICON OR GERMANIUM AND RECOVERED BY LASER ANNEALING. THIS ARRANGEMENT WOULD PERMIT ISOTOPIC ENRICHMENT BETWEEN EACH RIS-LASER PULSE AND WOULD NOT REQUIRE ISOLATING THE DETECTOR FROM THE VACUUM SYSTEM. IN PHASE I, WE WOULD ATTEMPT TO SHOW THAT NON-SELECTIVE IONIZATION (AS A BY-PRODUCT OF TARGET ANNEALING) DOES NOT INTERFERE WITH THE ION-OPTICS USED IN THE MASS-SPECTROMETER. ASSUMING THIS TO BE THE CASE, PHASE II WOULD ALLOW THE CONFIGURATION OF A COMPLETE COUNTING SYSTEM. APPLICATION OF KR-81 ALONE INCLUDES A BR-81(V,E-)KR SOLAR NEUTRINO EXPERIMENT, POLAR ICE-CAP DATING, OCEANOGRAPHY, GROUNDWATER TRANSPORT STUDIES, AND OTHER EARTH SCIENCES USES. OUR MARKETING RESEARCH SHOWS THAT A RELIABLE SYSTEM FOR KR-81 COUNTING WOULD HAVE CONSIDERABLE COMMERCIAL USE.

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

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