Charlton, MA, United States
Charlton, MA, United States

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Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 958.55K | Year: 2014

The combination of X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) with x-ray emission spectroscopy (XES) provides unique diagnostic analysis of both the structure and chemical composition of complex heterogeneous materials. The penetration of X-rays make this method ideal for studying and optimizing material properties under realistic, real time reaction conditions with simultaneous analysis of reaction products (in-operando). The full potential of XAS and XES measurements are limited by the detectors of the spectrometers. This proposal investigates a new detector design that will result in a highly efficient, easy to handle, low- cost, high-resolution detection system with excellent background suppression. This system is based on non-diffractive optics comprised of fused and directed glass capillary tubes that will be used to collimate the x-rays, allowing the use of a plane crystal as the wavelength selective element. This x-ray optic is a new design concept and the focus of this proposal. The main benefits of the proposed system are; a large energy range is accessible without modifying the system, a large collection angle is achieved per detection unit: 4-5% of the full solid angle, easy integration in complex and harsh environments is enabled due to the use of a pre-collimation system as a secondary source for the spectrometer, and background from a complex sample environment can be easily and efficiently suppressed. As a result of the Phase I research the following objectives have demonstrated a) produce 90% open area polycapillary glass structure suitable for creating x-ray optic structures b) tapering the polycapillary structure to produce x-ray optics to the desired profile c) measure key x-ray transmission parameters of the x-ray optic at BNL, and d) simulate key design parameters of x-ray optics, e) and developed several detector concepts incorporating the optic. In Phase II, x-ray optics optimized for the detector application will be fabricated and tested. Test results will be compared with computer models for agreement. These optics will be packaged in a holder suitable for use in vacuum and extreme temperature environments. Two detector prototypes that incorporate the optics will be tested as part of Phase II. This development program will benefit of x-ray detectors beyond those used in synchrotron radiation facilities. For example, it could replace the conventional energy dispersive detectors like silicon drift diodes in scanning electron microscopes (SEM).


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 146.23K | Year: 2013

The combination of X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) with x-ray emission spectroscopy (XES) provides unique diagnostic analysis of both the structure and chemical composition of complex heterogeneous materials. The penetration of X-rays make this method ideal for studying and optimizing material properties under realistic, real time reaction conditions with simultaneous analysis of reaction products (in-operando). The full potential of XAS and XES measurements are limited by the detectors of the spectrometers. We propose to investigate a new detector design that will result in a highly efficient, easy to handle, low-cost, high-resolution detection system with excellent background suppression. The detection system is based on a new pre-collimation x-ray optic with a 7-8 degree solid collection angle that produces a collimated output with a 50-200m spot size. The small size and emittance angle of the pre-collimation optic allow additional optics to further collimate the x- rays such that a plane crystal can function as a wavelength selective element. This approach dramatically increases the flexibility and ease-of-use of the instrument. Measurement costs are reduced because the same setup can be used for different wavelengths with greater collection efficiency by only changing the crystal angle. Under this development program we will demonstrate feasibility of fabricating the pre-collimation optic critical to the design of this detector system. This polycapillary based x-ray optic will then be used in a mock up detector to verify the feasibility of the design. This development program will benefit of x-ray detectors beyond those used in synchrotron radiation facilities. For example, it could replace the conventional energy dispersive detectors like silicon drift diodes in scanning electron microscopes (SEM).


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.98K | Year: 2016

The planned “electron Ion Collider” (eIC), will become the premier Nuclear Physics (NP) research facility in the world, and will be constructed over the coming decade. The eIC will collide intense high-energy electron beams against oncoming ion beams, producing many types of energetic primary and secondary particles from hundreds of millions of beam-pulse collisions each second. A critical role will be played in eIC detectors by “Particle IDentification” or PID subsystems, which will distinguish outgoing ejected particle types. A key measurement for distinguishing particle types is to measure their “T ime of Flight” from production to detection, for particles traveling at very nearly the speed of light. Secondary particles are typically detected within PID systems through their production of tertiary optical photons while passing through light-emitting materials, requiring advanced photosensors. As a result of nearly a decade of DOE-supported development, we have developed advanced Large Area Picosecond Photon Detectors (LAPPDTMs) with the photon timing and position accuracy needed for High Energy Physics (HEP) applications . NP applications within PID systems have additional demands, in particular, PID systems using Ring Imaging Cherenkov (RICH) and Detection of Internally Reflected Cherenkov (DIRC) require photon sensors with increased spatial segmentation for high-multiplicity photon detection. Incom propose to develop a new generation of pin-free pixelated LAPPDTM, using a ceramic package that will extend the reach of the next generation of Nuclear Physics (NP) experiments by providing extraordinary timing and spatial accuracy capabilities. With LAPPDTM enabled by Incom’s cost-effective large-area microchannel plates (MCPs), differences in particle flight times as small as 10 picoseconds can be resolved. This is an order-of- magnitude improvement over previous technologies, which will significantly improve the particle identification capability of future detectors, and thus the quality of future nuclear physics research. Incom‘s proposed second- generation LAPPDTM offers improved device performance as well as lowered costs through optimized manufacturing. In Phase I, working closely with The University of Chicago, we propose proof-of-concept demonstration of performance and manufacturing innovations. In Phase II Incom will incorporate them into an integrated device meeting all eIC requirements, and will work with NP researchers to demonstrate their suitability for eIC detector deployment. Incom innovations will enable new detector applications in NP, and can be extended to high energy physics, medical imaging, and homeland security applications. Incom will develop novel ceramic, pin-free pixelated Large Area Picosecond Photon Detector (LAPPDTM) photosensors designed for high volume, low cost production. These improved second-generation photon sensors will significantly improve particle identification subsystems for the future electron-Ion Collider (eIC), greatly enhancing its physics research capabilities.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 124.78K | Year: 2015

This proposal will develop long, continuous, curved microchannel plates (MCPs) for use in spaceflight ion mass spectrometers. These instruments obtain ion mass in part by measuring the ion speed. Ions create secondary elections, first as they enter the instrument window, then as they ht a target. The flight time across the distance in between provides the speed. The time is measured by detecting secondary electrons from the window and then the target. Curved MCPs simplify the detection because: they have a cylindrical symmetry which is compatible with instrument fields of view; the MCP channels always have the same orientation to electron flight paths, and so create uniform azimuthal detection efficiency; and they may be placed close to the window and target, thereby improving time of flight and mass resolution. Curved MCPs will be developed starting with the successful Incom approach for flat MCPs. A glass capillary array is first formed with 20 micron pores. Using Atomic Layer Deposition, the array is then coated with thin films that create the desired resistance and gain.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.85K | Year: 2016

The planned “Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment” (DUNE), will become the premier High Energy Physics (HEP) Neutrino Physics research facility in the world, and will be constructed over the coming decade. DUNE and its associated short-baseline surface neutrino detectors will be enormous Liquid Argon T ime Projection Chambers, recording tracks from neutrino interaction secondary particles in exquisite detail by drifting patterns of ionization charge through giant vats of ultrapure cryogenic noble liquid. Photon detection systems will play a crucial role in DUNE and its associated neutrino experiments, but requirements for the cost-effective large-area photosensors needed to collect very hard VUV light in Liquid Argon environment are very demanding. Over the last decade we have developed a room-temperature baseline Large Area Picosecond Photon Detectors (LAPPDTM), a 203 mm x 203 mm flat photosensor with unsurpassed photon timing accuracy. The core element of this detector is Incom’s next generation microchannel plate (MCP) technology, which was also developed within the DOE-supported LAPPD consortium. Herein, we propose to develop a new generation of MCPs with improved thermo-electrical properties, specifically addressing undesired resistance changes with temperature. The resulting MCPs will have superior voltage and gain stability, be less prone to thermal runaway, and can be further optimized to operate reliably at cryogenic temperatures. Other applications such as space science instrumentation, field-deployed radiation detectors for homeland security applications as well as industrial high and low-temperature applications such as the mining or oil prospecting industry are expected to benefit from this development. In Phase I, working closely with Argonne National Laboratory and University of California, Berkeley – Space Science Laboratories, we propose proof-of-concept demonstration of resistive coatings that exhibit an extremely low, or negligible temperature coefficient of resistance. In Phase II we will apply these coatings to fabricate MCPs that exhibit stable gain and resistance over wide temperature ranges, and that can be optimized to reliably operate at cryogenic or elevated temperatures. This innovation will enable new detector plications in HEP, nuclear physics, spectroscopy, and calorimetry applications, as well as in medical imaging, homeland security, and energy sectors. Key words: LAPPDTM, High Energy Physics, cryogenic particle detector, thermal runaway, atomic layer deposition, temperature coefficient of resistance, TCR, microchannel plates, MCP.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 986.92K | Year: 2015

Micro-channel plates (MCPs) are used in high energy physics (HEP), homeland security, medical imaging, and space applications. They provide high gain, low noise, and unmatched spatial and temporal resolution. However, their high cost and availability in only relatively small sizes remains a critical barrier to their widespread use in these markets. In this program high-resolution micro-channel plates (MCPs) will be produced in 8 x 8 inch size, far larger than currently available MCPs. MCPs developed in this program will have high, uniform, and stable gain, and will leverage a key advantage of this technology: that MCPs can be made from glasses chosen to offer attributes such as greater physical durability and lower dark current. High spatial and temporal resolution is important for applications such as vertex separation and particle identification in ToF measurements as well as water Cherenkov counters and high-resolution sampling calorimeters. It will also benefit commercial applications such as detectors for mass spectrometers, PET scanners, and homeland security applications such as neutron detectors for cargo/vehicle inspection. The advancements made in this program will enable MCP technology to be applied to a much broader range of applications in these markets. Phase I accomplishments included demonstrations of high spatial and temporal resolution in 10 m pore MCPs made by this technology in 33 mm dia. formats, as well as a clear path for producing these MCPs in far larger sizes. The MCPs produced in Phase I had high, stable, uniform gains of 104 @ 800 V. In Phase II the processes for making these MCPs will be further developed and extended to the much larger 8 x 8 inch size. Gain performance will be optimized, and specific performance benefits will be achieved by constructing MCPs from alternate glasses. Large-area, high resolution MCPs will be provided to early adopters in support of application testing, including particle identification time-of-flight measurements at the Fermilab LArIAT beamline.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 450.00K | Year: 2013

The high energy physics (HEP) community, scientific and medical communities and the public at large, will benefit from the availability of high sensitivity photo- sensors with improved spatial and temporal resolution that scaled to large areas, and manufactured in a robust, durable compact package at low cost. The Phase I program will address this need, demonstrating feasibility of commercial production of fully integrated hermetically sealed Large Area, 8X8 Fast Photodetectors for Particle Detection (LAPPD) for HEP Applications. Since 2009, Incom Inc. has supplied 8 & quot;X8 & quot; microcapillary arrays to the Argonne LAPPD program. Incom Inc. will leverage prior Argonne LAPPD R & amp;D and will advance, optimize and adapt that technology to enable commercial production of fully integrated detector tiles. Earlier work showed that the concept is sound, and that optimized detectors will have the required gain, low-noise, time and space resolution, and life-time required for a commercial device. Phase I R & amp;D issues to be addressed include a) MCP gain uniformity, b) bi-alkali photocathode performance in a sealed fully integrated glass package, and c) reliable hermetic all glass package sealing. Phase I will demonstrate feasibility of fully-integrated hermetically-sealed LAPPD tile modules, ready for test, incorporating Incom/ANL ALD-functionalized MCPs, conductively coated spacers, a metalized strip line anode, and borosilicate glass packaging. The Phase II program will address commercialization of these developments and production scale-up. The outcome will be fully-integrated detector devices suitable for application testing, plus a proven path to further commercial availability. Phase II goals are: 1) a scalable, high-yield production process to produce 8X8 LAPPD-style photodetector modules, and 2) fabrication of complete systems for at least four early-adopter groups to use in field tests. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The availability of large-area economically produced photodetectors with time resolutions below 10 psec and space resolutions of & lt;50 microns will enable new techniques in HEP to reconstruct fundamental interactions based on the time-of- flight of particles traveling at light speeds including multiple vertex separation and particle ID at high-luminosity colliders, possible light collection in heavy-noble-liquid ionization detectors, high-resolution electromagnetic calorimeters, large non-cryogenic tracking neutrino detectors, and combinatorial photon background rejection in rare kaon-decay experiments. Homeland security (non-proliferation) applications include the ability to screen cargo and vehicles for nuclear materials. Scientific applications include astronomy, electron microscopy, time-of-flight mass spectrometry, molecular and atomic collision studies, and fluorescence imaging applications in biotechnology. Medical imaging application includes detectors for positron emission tomography (PET scanning).


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 3.00M | Year: 2014

The high energy physics (HEP) community, the scientific and medical communities and the public at large, require the availability of high sensitivity photo- sensors with improved spatial and temporal resolution that can be scaled to large areas, and manufactured in a robust, durable, and compact package at a low cost. Phase I successfully demonstrated the underlying enabling scientific and technical feasibility required for fabrication of Large Area Photodetectors for Particle Detection (LAPPD) for HEP Applications. The Phase II program will demonstrate a pathway for commercialization of these developments and subsequent scale-up to industrial production. Incom Inc. will leverage prior ANL / LAPPD R & amp;D and will advance, optimize and adapt that technology to enable commercial production of fully integrated detector tiles. Phase I showed that the concept is sound, and that optimized detectors have the required performance for a commercial device. Phase I also resolved a number of underlying R & amp;D issues; a) MCP gain uniformity, b) ability to deposit large area high performing bi-alkali photocathodes, and c) vacuum transfer of critical components during product assembly. The Phase II outcome will be a demonstrated pathway for commercialization of these developments and subsequent scale-up to industrial production. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The availability of large-area photodetectors with time resolutions below 10 psec and space resolutions of & lt;50 microns produced economically will enable new techniques in HEP for multiple vertex separation and particle identity at high-luminosity colliders, possible light collection in heavy-noble-liquid ionization detectors, high-resolution electromagnetic calorimeters, large non-cryogenic tracking neutrino detectors, and combinatorial photon background rejection in rare kaon-decay experiments. Other commercial application of these devices will include detectors for mass spectrometers, medical imaging (PET), as well as neutron detection for scientific and homeland security (non-proliferation) applications.


Patent
Incom, Inc. | Date: 2013-11-04

An X-ray anti-scatter grid having thinner X-ray opaque layers, smaller X-ray opaque diameters, greater aspect ratio, lower weight and improved image resolution is disclosed. A method of forming the X-ray anti-scatter grid is disclosed that includes a set of hollow X-ray transparent glass capillary tubes that are fused together, with an X-ray opaque layer thick enough to block X-rays at a specified energy inside the capillary tubes. The capillary tubes provide the high aspect ratio and light weight, while the X-ray opaque layer is provided by a deposition process that has features similar to atomic layer deposition (ALD). The high aspect ratio and thin layers improves resolution and decreases image artifacts, and large area X-ray anti-scatter grids are provided by aligning the axis of the an X-ray opaque layers to the X-ray source.


Patent
Incom, Inc. | Date: 2016-07-18

A wave guide face plate for transmitting an image formed in a scintillating material included as part of a transmitting medium is disclosed. The transmitting medium includes a random distribution of different refractive index regions in two orthogonal dimensions, and an essentially consistent refractive index in a third orthogonal dimension. The third orthogonal direction is aligned with a transmission axis of the wave transmitter extending from an input location to a wave detector location. The transmission efficiency of the wave guide faceplate is improved in situations where the entry angle of the input radiation is different from the axis of the wave transmitter as compared to conventional faceplates.

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