High-Purity Germanium Crystals for Low Background Counting Arrays

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Energy
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$750,000.00
Award Year:
2009
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
DE-FG02-08ER84987
Award Id:
89840
Agency Tracking Number:
n/a
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
777 Emory Valley Road, Suite B, Oak Ridge, TN, 37830
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
141612684
Principal Investigator:
Ethan Hull
Mr.
(865) 481-3725
ethanhull@phdsco.com
Business Contact:
Ethan Hull
Mr.
(865) 481-3725
ethanhull@phdsco.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
The next generation of DOE low-background user facilities will require suitable germanium crystal production capabilities. These crystal-growth techniques must accommodate the handling of highly enriched germanium in a manner consistent with low background counting. In this project, germanium crystal growth techniques will be experimentally developed specifically for the growth of crystals for low-background counting arrays. The approach will include the development of (1) inexpensive and modular crystal pullers that are suitable for installation in low-background facilities, and (2) crystal-growth techniques that minimize the contamination of highly enriched germanium. In Phase I, an inexpensive and modular prototype germanium crystal puller was developed. Using this puller, germanium crystals were successfully grown and demonstrated to have properties well suited to the fabrication of low-background germanium detectors. During the Phase II, the crystal growth techniques will be refined to grow large high-purity germanium crystals suitable for the fabrication of large low-background germanium detectors. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The germanium crystal growth technique should greatly decrease the cost of large arrays of low background germanium detectors. These detector arrays are at the forefront of physics in the search for rare processes such as neutrinoless double-beta decay. Such detector arrays also could be used for low-level counting facilities to characterize radioactive materials.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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