In this project, Advent Diamond is developing diamond-based particle detectors, utilizing doped and undoped diamond structures to enable new space-based particle detection instrumentation. This line of detectors will be enabled by chemical vapor deposition growth of diamond with controlled incorporation of dopants into the diamond lattice. Diamond brings a number of advantages for space-based particle detectors, and is anticipated to enable a new generation of instrumentation. Specifically, the bandgap of diamond is 5.5eV, an energy greater than the photon energy of the majority of the solar spectrum. This is in contrast to silicon, which is the most commonly used semiconductor for solid state detectors, and has a bandgap of 1.1eV. By using diamond, our proposed detectors are naturally solar-blind without the use of metalized foils needed by silicon or other solid-state detectors. In turn, this means the detectors can be used to detect lower energy particles. The detectors will target sensitivity to 50keV-10sMeV particles, with solar blind response for direct solar viewing.
Suppressing response from solar UV/visible light emission has long been a challenge for solid-state particle detectors on NASA instrumentation. This project will benefit the NASA Living With a Star Program missions, including HERMES and the Geospace Dynamics Constellation. Understanding energetic particle composition, sources, and properties can aid in understanding the complex processes in the solar system environment and solar sysem evolution.
Diamond-based detectors can be used in a range of industry, scientific and medical applications. Our market research study revealed that the short-term market for niche and custom diamond detectors will be 3-5M/year for niche applications, and is expected to grow to 15-20M/year in 10 years by achieving commercialization and cost targets to expand into mass market applications.