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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/E014011/1
Title: Development of diamond dynodes for the next generation high throughput photon counting detectors
Principal Investigator: May, Professor PW
Other Investigators:
Fox, Professor NA
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Bristol
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 March 2007 Ends: 29 February 2008 Value (£): 19,522
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Optical Devices & Subsystems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
VisionThe diamond dynode technology we propose is the precursor to a potential step change from vacuum tube devices, photomultiplier tubes and image intensifiers, towards the promise of large area, flat panel photon counting detector designs utilising micro-machined 2D pixel arrays; a revolution analogous to the replacement of the cathode ray tube (CRT) with todays's flat screen liquid crystal displays (LCDs).Improved photon and particle counting detector systems are crucial for continuing technological progress in wide variety of diverse applications from the life sciences to particle physics, environmental monitoring to astronomy. The aim of this project is to investigate the properties of artificially deposited diamond as a dynode material for electron multiplication in high performance detectors. Previous studies suggest that diamond could be exceptionally well suited candidate for this role, but thus far its properties have not been exploited thus far in this field. The one-year project will be a collaboration between the Space Research Centre, University of Leicester and the Department of Chemistry at Bristol University, and has a total full economic cost of 121,400. Manpower will be provided by a PDRA project scientist employed fulltime for 12 months, under the supervision of the PI from Leicester and Co-Is from Bristol, and assisted by one month mechanical technician effort at Leicester. The year long schedule comprises 5 work packages :-1. A review of existing data on deposited diamond film characteristics, identification of likely dynode candidates (dopant concentrations, process parameters, etc., surface modification) and simulation and modelling of dynode performance.2. Investigation of diamond coating techniques including CVD deposition and inkjet printing of diamond powder in a conductive nano-particle matrix.3. Manufacture of diamond coated dynodes using a preferred range of process parameters, dopant concentrations, and surface modification, including investigation of transparent dynode structures using diamond coated meshes. Following characterization, one process iteration will be undertaken.4. Measurement of secondary electron emission characteristics (emission coefficient, energy and angular distribution) for various diamond coated dynode samples as a function of input electron energy and angle.5. Performance evaluation of a discrete dynode photomultiplier tube designed for, and using diamond coated dynodesThe collaboration with Photek Ltd. will enable the project team to demonstrate diamond dynode proof-of-concept using a photo-multiplier tube specially designed for this purpose. Photek will contribute in-kind assistance with PMT design and assembly and dynode performance demonstration in return for the academic partners' development of suitable diamond coating techniques and agreement to negotiate arrangements for possible commercialization.This project is synergistic with an imminent Basic technology Consortium Building proposal to establish a developer and end-user network for the development of revolutionary technologies for generic photon and counting particle sensor systems. The goal is to provide step change in detector performance enabling ground-braking application across a broad range of disciplines.
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Organisation Website: http://www.bris.ac.uk