A Compact Crystal Positioning System for Neutron Diffraction

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-05ER84257
Agency Tracking Number: 79518S05-I
Amount: $99,992.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: 23
Solicitation Number: DE-FG02-06ER06-09
Small Business Information
615 East Hansen Street, P.O. Box 2772, Jackson, WY, 83001
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robert Viola
 (307) 739-0946
Business Contact
 Robert Viola
Title: Mr.
Phone: (307) 739-0946
Email: viola@sqr-1.com
Research Institution
79518S When completed, the Spallation Neutron Source¿s (SNS) multiple beamlines will provide unprecedented opportunities to conduct studies in materials characterization, medical isotope production, and the transmutation of nuclear waste. However, the large goniometers traditionally used to position samples relative to particle beams will be incompatible with many of the new SNS instruments. Therefore, to take full advantage of the greatly reduced data collection times made possible by the SNS¿s high neutron flux, new automated sample changers must be developed and deployed. This project will develop a radically new approach to sample loading and orientation. A compact, high-precision manipulator, adjustable in six degrees-of-freedom, will be mounted within the bore of a temperature control cryostat. A kinematic ¿socket¿ incorporated into a complementary sample holder will couple with this manipulator, allowing crystal samples to be remotely loaded and unloaded using industrial robotics. Phase I will establish feasibility by creating a prototype positioning system and gauging its ability to securely register incoming crystals and to accurately and rapidly align them within a cryostat. Techniques for determining the exact location of a crystal relative to the neutron beam, when hidden from direct view, will be determined. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The Compact Sample Positioning System should provide a powerful enabling technology for the SNS and other neutron science facilities. A small, high-precision positioning device also should have broad commercial relevance beyond neutron science. Potential applications include the remote adjustment of critical optical components used in X-ray crystallography, semiconductor photomask etching, and electron beam lithography.

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

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government