NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 S1.05-9286
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Detector Technologies for UV, X-Ray, Gamma-Ray and Cosmic-Ray Instruments
PROPOSAL TITLE: Advanced Coating Technology for Enhanced Performance of Microchannel Plates for UV detectors

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
SVT Associates
7620 Executive Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344 - 3677
(952) 934-2100

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Feng Niu
7620 Executive Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344 - 3677
(952) 934-2100

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract:

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
In this NASA SBIR Phase I proposal we propose to apply a highly conformal coating of ZnO and AlN or a double layer of GaN to the surface and internal pore walls of conventional microchannel plates (MCP). This will lead to enhanced secondary electron emission (SEE) and, thus, improve MCP gain for UV /X-ray detectors. The ZnO/ALN(GaN) hetrostructure using nano ZnO needles as templates has been demonstrated to exhibit significantly higher SEE yield for electrons, ions and X-ray beams. The coatings will be carrid out by atomic layer deposition (ALD). The key advantages of ALD include 1)super conformity of coatings and nearly 100% step coverage on very high aspect ratio substrates, which is well suited for coating highly porous MCP wafers with a aspect ration ~100; 2)super thickness and composition control; 3)continuous and pin hole free quality films; and 4) easy to scale up for large area deposition at low cost. To the best of our knowledge this is the first time the advanced ALD process has been proposed as a way of improving UV detector performance of MCPS. If successful, this technology will provide an effective method of modifing the MCP surfaces by coating them with high SEE yield films that will dramatically improve the gain of conventional MCPs. This will enhance the performance of UV detectors required for various NASA missions.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Future experiments and NASA astrophysics missions can benefit from the development of the proposed technology by using these modified MCPs to improve UV detector performance. In addition to astrophysics applications, in situ planetary instruments (fluorescence and Raman) can benefit greatly from a stable, high efficiency solar blind UV detector for detecting minerals and organics. Longer-term missions will continue to benefit from the combination of high efficiency, solar blindness, and photon-counting capability of novel and upcoming silicon MCP designs that could incorporate this technology.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This advanced process has potential not only for many NASA missions requiring improved detector performance in the UV, X-ray to gamma ray ranges, but also for military and civil industry applications where MCPs are already broadly used for things such as imaging, mass spectrometry and night vision detectors. Particle analyzers may be produced by using a MCP detector at the output of an electrostatic and/or magnetic dispersion system. Very highly sensitivity optical, UV and EUV and X-ray spectrometers can also be produced with appropriate filtering and dispersive elements. Microchannel plate technology is also used to make visible light image intensifiers for night vision goggles and binoculars.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Autonomous Control and Monitoring
Beamed Energy
Biomolecular Sensors
Biophysical Utilization
Control Instrumentation
Data Acquisition and End-to-End-Management
In-situ Resource Utilization
Launch and Flight Vehicle
Mission Training
Operations Concepts and Requirements
Semi-Conductors/Solid State Device Materials
Telemetry, Tracking and Control
Thermodynamic Conversion

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50