High Spatial Resolution Structured Plastic Scintillator
Small Business Information
44 Hunt Street, Watertown, MA, 02472
AbstractDESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The goal of this Phase I project is to develop a fast high spatial resolution scintillator for time-resolved neutron crystallography. Neutron crystallography compliments x-ray crystallography in its ability to precisely locate hydrogen atoms in protein molecules. The information on hydrogen location is important for monitoring protein dynamics (e.g. hydrogen-deuterium exchange, solvation studies). Currently, neutron sources of higher than ever intensity are becoming available to the researches in this field. The advent of higher flux pulsed sources has allowed development of a time-resolved diffraction technique, important for obtaining information about protein function. However, the detectors available for scattered neutron radiation are still inadequate. The ideal detector would provide a fast response, high spatial resolution, high efficiency and large detection area at reasonable cost. We offer a novel approach to developing such a detector on a basis of a finely structured scintillator coupled to a state-of-the-art digital readout. The structure of the scintillator's body will serve to help light channeling to the digital optical detector promoting high spatial resolution. The Phase I research will be directed towards demonstrating feasibility of developing a neutron sensor with a combination of high spatial resolution, fast response, high efficiency and high neutron-to-gamma discrimination ability for use in digital position sensitive systems. Specifically, a 5 x 5 cm2 prototype sensor will be fabricated and evaluated using a novel CCD based detector (EMCCD) and a PSPMT at neutron beam facilities. The effectiveness of the proposed technology will be demonstrated by neutron radiographic imaging of various test phantoms. The efficiency, time response and spatial resolution of the detector will be measured. The proposed detector could be employed at any neutron source facility and would help to advance basic research in protein mechanisms as well as drug design. Non-biomedical applications could be found in non- destructive testing and secuity scanning at entry ports and strategic facilities. The goal of this Phase I project is to develop a fast high spatial resolution scintillator for time-resolved neutron crystallography, which compliments x-ray crystallography in its ability to precisely locate hydrogen atoms in protein molecules. The information on hydrogen location is important for monitoring protein dynamics and helps to understand nature of disease. The proposed detector could be employed at any neutron source facility and would help to advance research of protein mechanisms as well as drug design.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.