Development of Gen-II LAPPDTM Systems For Nuclear Physics Experiments

Period of Performance: 04/15/2016 - 11/21/2016


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Incom, Inc.
294 Southbridge Rd Array
Charlton, MA 01507
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


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.