New Low-cost Radon Sampler

Period of Performance: 08/01/1989 - 07/31/1990


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Quantex Corp.
Rockville, MD 20850
Principal Investigator


Radon progeny in indoor air present a greater radiological health hazard to the greatest population than any other radiation source. Phase I efforts demonstrated the feasibility of using Quantex's electron trapping (ET) materials for a very low-cost, light-weight mailable alpha particle detector that can be deployed by the general population at any site. Alpha particle impingement on the ET material generate electron-hole pairs and subsequently trapped electrons at specific sites. When the ET material is scanned with infrared light, a visible output can be detected at those locations at which the alpha particle impacted, but not where there was no impact. The ET material stores a record of an alpha particle track for very extended periods of time, but is also erasable for repeated use. The proposed detector has the advantages of presently available radon detectors with none of the disadvantages. It promises to revolutionize radon site sampling because of the simplicity of technique and low potential cost. Commercial applications would be widespread for dwellings and offices, and could also be very significant for mining personnel.