Fabrication of a Real-time Crystallography Detector

Period of Performance: 05/01/1998 - 04/30/2002


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Advanced Scientific Concepts, Inc.
135 East Ortega Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Principal Investigator


Protein and virus crystallography imposes stringent requirements on detectors, particularly at high flux synchrotron sources. This application describes a very advanced detector that can be used for both home and synchrotron x-ray-source protein crystallography and for dynamic laue diffraction studies. The detector is called the Real-time Crystallography Detector (RCD). The RCD is a room-temperature, real-time, large-area, high-spatial-resolution, high-speed, "infinite-dynamic-range" detector with a near-one Detective Quantum Efficiency (DQE), even for very low diffraction peaks. The RCD is based upon advanced custom-designed Focal Plane Array (FPA) technology and is a very simple modular construction with no cooling requirements. It is a quantum-leap advance over current crystallography detectors. The main focus of the proposed study is to develop a detailed design of the RCD in close association with our Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) collaborator and then to experimentally verify the most critical features of the design, the unit-cell area and electronic function of the unit-cell read-out circuit. Three main tasks and one optional task are proposed to accomplish tnese goals. In Phase II the verified Phase I design parameters will be used to fabricate and test a full-scale detector. One of the Phase II test will be an x-ray crystallography experiment at SSRL. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: Commercial high-volume facilities for all the RCD fabrication processes already exist and detector cost will be very competitive when large numbers of components are produced. The expectation is that one the very high performance of the RCD is proved to the crystallography community it will be the detector of choice and high volume sales will result, for the large area detector.