Multibeam Healing for Laser Micromachining in Manufacturing

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 9R44RR031472-03
Agency Tracking Number: R44RR031472
Amount: $1,592,997.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: NCRR
Solicitation Number: PA06-013
Small Business Information
DUNS: 073804411
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (617) 668-6934
Business Contact
Phone: (617) 668-6800
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): There is considerable interest in new and innovative manufacturing methods for medical imaging technologies to enhance performance while reducing cost. The precision and low-force signature of lasers makes them very attractive alternatives to traditional machining methods for brittle materials, particularly scintillators such as lutetium oxyorthosilicate (LSO), gadolinium oxyorthosilciate (GSO), lutetium-yttrium oxyorthosilicate (LYSO), etc. used in high-resolution diagnostic imaging and nuclear medicine. However, material damage, especially micro-scale cracking, during laser machining is a frequently encountered problem that results in added costs, needless scrap, and reduced performance/reliability. These issues have prevented the tremendous commercial potential of laser machining from being fully utilized to manufacture large and finely pixelated scintillator arrays. The goal of the Phase I research was to demonstrate the feasibility of defect free laser machining of brittle scintillators using a novel multibeam approach. We are pleased to report that the Phase I research has not only clearly demonstrated the feasibility of our approach but has also led to a major discovery that has the potential to dramatically reduce the cost and duration of pixelation. Thus our Phase I effort has laid a firm foundation for achieving our ultimate goal of defect-free manufacturing of scintillator arrays using laser machining. With these exceptional results, the technique of laser pixelation and multibeam healing is now poised for exploitation in rapid and cost effective systems for micro-machining arrays of various sizes, shapes, and orientations in scintillators of critical importance to medical and non-medical applications. The proposedresearch is designed to address manufacturing issues through detailed simulation studies of the material's behavior during laser ablation, and by implementing a new laser beam delivery system based on experimental findings that confirm the simulation results. Developing such a system and a body of knowledge in scintillator micro-machining will allow fabricating large arrays of various scintillators at significantly reduced manufacturing cost, while greatly improving detector performance with reduced pixelsizes and inter-pixel gaps. Therefore, the proposed research has great commercial relevance, especially for modalities as PET where higher resolution and lower cost is critically important.

* 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