WEST BERLIN, N.J., Jan. 26, 2009 – Photonic products manufacturer Dynasil Corp. of America has announced that Radiation Monitoring Devices (RMD) Inc., its research subsidiary, has been awarded three research and development contracts with three-year periods of performance from the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office of the US Department of Homeland Security totaling more than $5.6 million to develop high-performance nuclear radiation detector materials.
Because the US faces threats of terrorists smuggling nuclear weapons into the country, Homeland Security is seeking improved detection equipment. Existing detectors tend to be expensive and too small and are plagued by false alarms from naturally occurring radioactive materials that exist in items such as kitty litter and ceramics.
To address this, scientists at RMD will examine advanced radiation detectors made from semiconductor crystals.
“The major technical challenge is to produce high-purity single crystals with superior electronic properties,” said Kanai Shah, RMD’s principal investigator on these projects.
The crystals will be used to build the next generation of room-temperature radiation detectors that couple high sensitivity with the ability to identify radioactive sources, enabling Homeland Security, the military, customs, the police and first responders with the tools they need to detect and interdict weapons of mass destruction.
According to Michael Squillante, RMD’s vice president of research, “This is a case of applying proven semiconductor processing techniques to exciting state-of-the-art electronic materials to solve a critical need and potentially save lives.”
RMD's team includes personnel from Raytheon Corp. and the
University of Michigan.
For more information, visit: www.dynasil.com.