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New Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Materials for Neutron Detection

Award Information
Agency: Department of Homeland Security
Branch: N/A
Contract: HSHQDC-11-C-00061
Agency Tracking Number: HSHQDC-10-R-00030-1011009-II
Amount: $999,998.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 10.1-2
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2010
Award Year: 2011
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2011-07-06
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2013-07-05
Small Business Information
44 Hunt Street, Watertown, MA, 02472-4699
DUNS: 073804411
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Joshua Tower
Business Contact
 Nancy Marshall
Research Institution
In the proposed program, we plan to investigate novel semiconductor neutron detectors based on the wide bandgap lithium containing compositions LiGaSe2, LiGaTe2, LiInS2, and LiInSe2. The goal of the program is to produce detector quality crystals and to demonstrate efficient thermal neutron detection, with the possibility of providing neutron gamma discrimination. We will examine the synthesis and purification of high quality starting materials and the growth of single crystals. We will evaluate the electronic, charge transport, and detection response characteristics of the materials that are produced. Thermal neutron detection studies and neutron gamma discrimination will be investigated. A compact low cost solid state thermal neutron detection system based on any of these materials would be a major breakthrough over conventional thermal neutron detectors, such as 3He tubes, which are currently in short supply. This development would open up many potential commercial applications for systems based on these detectors. Beyond nuclear non-proliferation monitoring, neutron detection has important applications in several areas, including nuclear physics, oil exploration, materials characterization, biological research, nuclear waste characterization, health physics, and non destructive evaluation.

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

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