Developing a Low Cost, Single Photon Imaging Detector

Period of Performance: 04/01/2000 - 09/30/2000

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Science Wares
30 SANDWICH RD
East Falmouth, MA 02536
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The high cost of currently available single optical photon imaging equipment is limiting the development of a variety of important instruments and assays based on bioluminescent and chemiluminescent reactions. We propose the development of a device that will enable low cost single photon imaging with an anticipated dynamic range up to 10^9 and spatial resolution down to 50 microns at the input window. The device developed in Phase I will utilize a hybrid structure consisting of a large area, high gain avalanche photodiode placed behind an 18mm Generation III photocathode in vacuum tube device. Performance will be evaluated in the 400-900nm region. Phase II will adapt the manufacturing process to a larger format tube which accepts the proprietary Imaging Avalanche Photodiode that we have developed. Bialkali and S-20 photocathodes for sub-400nm imaging will also be evaluated in Phase II. In Phase III, the developed device will be integrated into a variety of instruments that perform assays based on single optical photon imaging. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: Markets for the device to be developed in this project and for instruments based on the device are estimated to be the range of $16-21 million per year. This market includes instruments for basic research, high throughput luminescent assay analysis and food industry diagnostics. Markets for luminescence based gene chips and non-imaging detectors are also considered.