Wide dynamic range x-ray Mixed-Mode Pixel Array Detector

Period of Performance: 02/21/2017 - 11/20/2017


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Sydor Instruments, Llc
291 Millstead Way
Rochester, NY 14624
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Cornell University
426 Phillips Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Institution POC


Synchrotron light sources and X-ray free electron lasers are now generating shorter pulses with more intense light than ever before possible. The capabilities of these new sources grant unprecedented access into the workings of the natural world. X-ray scattering experiments are among the most common and critical types of experiments conducted in the light source community today. X-ray detectors, as they currently stand, cannot accommodate the large dynamic range of collected x-rays in modern scattering experiments. This capability gap in the detector market leaves scientists unable to answer fundamental questions. The proposed program will advance the development of a novel wide dynamic range x-ray mixed-mode pixel array detector conceived within a national laboratory. This mixed-mode detector has demonstrated single x-ray sensitivity with a dynamic range of greater than 108 photons per second per pixel with a read noise of 0.16 photons. The technology has evolved to the proof-of-concept phase and the proposed program will leverage the current developments at the national laboratory to transition the technology from prototype into a commercial instrument. The primary objective of the proposed program is to leverage the laboratory research and development completed to-date and commercialize the detector making it available to the x-ray scattering community by: transferring the know-how and expertise of the detector scientists to the commercial company, redesigning the current detector to suit the needs of a wider community base, and making use of a similar commercial detector architecture to move the technology rapidly to the commercial marketplace. Phase I will culminate in a conceptual design for a commercial prototype to be produced in Phase II along with a product road map for future product releases. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits A robust and commercially supported detector with the current proven performance specifications will enable x-ray scattering without the need to introduce structured semitransparent beam stops or phase diffusers, which is not possible with today’s commercial detectors. This will lead to new higher resolution, and sharper contrast diffraction patterns and higher resolution structure determination. These advances will provide the user community with unparalleled resolution of data sets with even larger dynamic ranges, drastically improve scientist’s ability to collect data, and allow greater insight into materials.