Development of a CMOS-based Very Large-Format X-ray Detector for Synchrotron Beam

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43GM100648-01
Agency Tracking Number: R43GM100648
Amount: $140,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solitcitation Year: 2012
Solitcitation Topic Code: NIGMS
Solitcitation Number: PA11-096
Small Business Information
311 WEXFORD DR, LEMONT, IL, 60439-
Duns: 193321465
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (630) 222-1005
Business Contact
Phone: (630) 222-1005
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): We propose to develop a large, high performance X-ray detector system for protein crystallography at synchrotron beamlines, using Active Pixel Matrix Sensor CMOS (complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) technology. Itwill be a 47.05cm x 44.32cm (4700 x 4428 pixel) system of 1005m pixels. Each pixel will be inactive for just 225s during frame readout; the entire detector will be read out in 0.033s. The total electronic system noise will be less than the signal from a single 12keV X-ray photon, and also less than a single digital interval in its 16-bit precision readout. Its spatial resolution, dynamic range, sensitivity, and detective quantum efficiency will equal or exceed those of current CCD systems. The retail cost will be half that of today's commercial CCD systems, and substantially less than the Swiss PILATUS (, against which our system will explicitly compete. It will be designed to operate without a timing shutter, allowing the sample crystal to rotate continuously. At synchrotron X-ray beamlines designed for protein crystallography today, the dominant detector systems are arrays of CCD sensors, coupled to a phosphor film by tapered fiberoptics (Westbrook and Naday, 1997). These systems are expensive: a 31.5cm x 31.5cm detector system today costs 845,000. While these systems are good, they could be better. Recently, a silicon pixel array detector system (SPAD) has arrived on the market: the PILATUS 6M, a spin-off from the ATLAS detector system at the LHC particle accelerator in Geneva. Over twice as expensive as a comparable CCD system, it provides interesting performance augmentations over CCDs but also exhibits design problems (it derives from high-energy physics, not molecular biology ). We arguein this proposal that a CMOS active pixel matrix system, explicitly designed for structural biology by structural biologists, offers all the advantages of a SPAD system with none of its disadvantages, and at considerable cost savings. PUBLIC HEALTHRELEVANCE: Protein crystallography is a mature and important enabling technology for the biological sciences and in pharmaceutical development, for determining the structures of large biological molecules: proteins and nucleic acids. The present proposalwill enhance the efficacy of protein crystallography, by improving the X-ray detectors that record the diffraction data from protein crystals at synchrotron user facilities. The detector we wish to develop is faster, higher-resolution, higher precision, and more efficient than the detectors now used by protein crystallographers, and it will be half the price of its competitors.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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