Optics Technology to Focus X-Rays and Neutrons
|Project Duration and Cost:
- ATP funding
- X-Ray Optical
Systems, Inc. cost-share amount: $0.3M
|Status Report of the Completed Project:
polycapillary optics is an enabling technology that provides
high-end x-ray and neutron components to enable the acquisition
of more detailed images at a lower radiation dosage. This innovative
optics technology can increase the efficiency, cost-effectiveness,
and mobility for medical imaging and materials research. However,
at the time of NIST’s Advanced Technology Program (ATP) project
in 1992, the major technical challenge was to get capillary arrays
to focus high-energy x-rays consistently and without having to
face recurring technical imperfections. These technical uncertainties
constrained commercial development.
and Economic Impacts
research with X-ray Optical Systems, Inc. to develop, test, and
perfect a new technology for focusing x-rays and neutrons by
reflecting them in orchestrated arrays through thousands of tiny,
curved glass optic tubes capable of controlling radiation from
a divergent beam. These technical achievements were impressive.
For example, X-ray Optical:
been awarded seven patents based on the technology
developed, as a result ATP funding;
listed in the Top R&D 100 from R&D
Magazine in 1995; and
the 1996 Photonics Circle of Excellence Award presented
by Photonics Spectra Magazine.
As a start-up
company spun out from the State University of New York
at Albany, X-ray Optical could not have undertaken the
high-risk technology development without ATP funding.
In fact, David Gibson, the company CEO has remarked that, “The
ATP grant made this company.” X-ray Optical
Systsems certainly has had a significant economic impact. For
Optical grew from one employee at the start of the
project in 1992 to 35 by the end of 2003, with revenues
of over $10M.
markets optics based on the ATP-funded technology
to researchers in government, university, industrial
laboratories, and analytical instrument manufacturers.
benefits to improved materials and analytics
capabilities of laboratories has been estimated
to be over $7.4 million (during the time frame
polycapillary technology and products are utilized
in many diverse applications and technology areas.
This technology has:
the utility of robotics operating in hazardous
environments (with NASA);
medical imaging cheaper and much faster, while
operating at lower power level (with NIH); and
and refineries will have much tighter sulfur
specifications by 2010 (reduced from 500 ppm
to 15 ppm).
- On-line sulfur analyzers, powered
by X-ray Optics technology, can make pipeline
monitoring much easier and cheaper.
- Major oil
refineries and pipeline operators are actively
in the process of implementing this technology,
which saves on average about $190,000 per sensor
Date created: June
August 21, 2006