Functionalized Nano-Film Microchannel Plate: A Single High Aspect Ratio Device for High Resolution, Low Noise Astronomical Imaging

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$595,700.00
Award Year:
2011
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
NNX11CA90C
Award Id:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
094270
Solicitation Year:
2009
Solicitation Topic Code:
S1.05
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
MA, Sudbury, MA, 01776-1122
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
168792260
Principal Investigator:
Neal Sullivan
Principal Investigator
(888) 949-4441
nsullivan@arradiance.com
Business Contact:
Ken Stenton
Business Official
(978) 978-8291
kstenton@arradiance.com
Research Institute:
Stub




Abstract
Atomic layer deposited functional nano-film technology is used to manufacture Microchannel plate (MCP) devices capable of high gain / low ion feedback operation, on glass capillary array substrates, as a means to replace MCP chevron configuration and enable direct photocathode deposition (e.g. GaN) for NASA applications. Commercial MCP devices rely on 1970's manufacturing technology, constrained by the bulk glass: heavy metal impurities limit the achievable dark noise in low signal detection, the requisite batch processing restricts flexibility to tailor individual device performance and often result in poor yield. Arradiance's proven nano-film technology has been shown in Phase I to improve the component functions of secondary electron emission and conductivity resulting in high performance MCPs. In Phase II performance optimization of these novel devices and, enabled by substrate independence, an opportunity to explore direct deposition of advanced photocathodes. Since the high quality GaN films required for efficient photoelectron transport can only be deposited at elevated temperatures (<900 C), conventional Pb-glass MCPs, with a softening point of ~400C, are not suitable. Arradiance nanofilms allow high temperature MCP substrates (e.g. quartz or anodized alumina - AAO) and the opportunity for significant detection efficiency improvement. TRL 4 at beginning; TRL 6 at end.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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