Novel Xray Diffraction Detector for Synchrotron Sources

Period of Performance: 03/01/2000 - 08/31/2002


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt Street Array
Watertown, MA 02472
Principal Investigator


X-ray diffraction studies at synchrotron sources have improved our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of muscle contraction, involving actin/myosin type interactions. A major limiting factor in this research, however, is the current state of X-ray detection systems which fail to provide required time and spatial resolution simultaneously. Scintillating phosphors coupled to charge coupled devices (CCDs) provide a promising solution to this problem. However, current phosphor screens exhibit long persistence effects and lower light conversion efficiencies than those needed for these studies. Moreover, the CCD camera itself needs to be capable of reading out the data very rapidly after image acquisition. To address these specific needs, we propose to develop a large area imaging detector based on a novel structured CsI(Tl) scintillator providing much improved characteristics. The Phase I performances of these scintillators, coupled with the modified fast readout CCD have been extremely encouraging, showing that the system is capable of acquiring high quality X-ray images at high speeds. In Phase II, the thrust of our research will be two-fold towards further improving CsI(Tl) screen qualities and refining the CCD chip architecture. The chip architecture of this new progressive scan CCD camera will be based on a design similar to the one used for the Phase 1 experiment. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: Thje proposed detector would find widespread us in instrumentation wherever high resolution and fast readout X-ray detectors are used including structural biology, microtomography of teeth and bones, polymer processing, X-ray astronomy, non-destructive testing, and basic physicals research. High resolution X-ray imaging instruments currently have a large commercial market, and as such, the proposed development holds a very high potential for commercialization.