|Acquisition Program: |
| ||The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 3.5.b.(7) of the solicitation.|| Objective: ||Develop new technology for production of high intensity coherent or incoherent soft x-ray beams with high efficiency, based on warm dense matter in so-called Metastable Innershell Molecular State (MIMS).
|| Description: ||DTRA is exploring innovative technologies for combating weapons of mass destruction, and wishes to explore use of high intensity x-ray beams, produced by cold compression of hypervelocity nanoparticles, for defeat of chemical and biological threats. X-ray superradiance in nanoparticles has recently been discovered for Metastable Inner-shell Molecular State (MIMS), a metastable quantum state formed in high energy density materials that are generated under “sudden” compression. [1-3] The x-ray production from MIMS have very distinguished natures compared with thermodynamic (such as in plasmas) or kinetic approaches (such as in Bremsstrahlung process): 1) as much as 40 % of shock energies were observed to convert to x-ray energies, 2) the linewidth of MIMS x-rays is very narrow (< 10 % FWHM). One powerful feature if MIMS is that it appears that any material may be brought to the MIMS condition, which implies that a very large range of x-ray characteristics may be attained. This new soft x-ray production technology may have important counter-WMD applications, as well as other commercial and military applications. Commercial applications for the proposed soft x-ray production technology could include semiconductor, medical, and law enforcement applications. Examples of semiconductor applications include next EUV-soft-x-ray generation lithography that enables construction of smaller scale components on wafers, and highly-efficient cleaning of semiconductor wafer surfaces.  For medical applications, the proposed intense directional soft x-ray beams from the proposed method may prove effective to safely and efficiently ablate biological tissues for surgical applications. While this newly discovered understanding of the MIMS state of warm dense matter is encouraging, further research work is needed to develop efficient means for production of MIMS materials. Discovery-focused research is also needed to explore and optimize material choices and to determine which materials will provide the most effective x-ray characteristics needed for countering chem-bio WMD threats. Theoretical work is also needed to explore and explain more deeply the physics of MIMS as it pertains to a large variety of particle and target materials.
|| ||PHASE I: Design compact high voltage particle accelerator suitable for attaining MIMS state. For future weapons applications, we have particular interest in use of high explosive and pulsed power techniques for these particle accelerators. Particle velocities in excess of 100 km/s will be needed for desired MIMS states to be achieved. In parallel with the device research, plan to conduct theoretical studies to explore the detailed physics of MIMS and of its effects, so that particle and target materials can be selected for particular x-ray characteristics.
|| ||PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate particle acceleration technology designed in Phase I. Conduct experiments to validate and improve the theoretical MIMS physics studies of Phase I, for at least four different particle and target material types. Continue theoretical development for MIMS material states, and extend theoretical development to consider possibility of production of highly intense and directional coherent x-ray beams.
|| ||PHASE III: The list of commercial applications that will benefit from the development of this exciting new technology is long and impressive. The proposed soft x-ray production technology can be used in semiconductor, medical, and law enforcement applications. Examples of semiconductor applications include next EUV-soft-x-ray generation lithography that enables construction of smaller scale components on wafers, and highly-efficient cleaning of semiconductor wafer surfaces.  For medical applications, the proposed intense directional soft x-ray beams from the proposed method can be used for safely and efficiently ablate biological tissues for surgical applications. In Phase III, conduct market studies to develop these customer bases; determine specific technical requirements for soft x-ray technology that will address these various commercial application areas. Based on these identified requirements, modify the soft x-ray production technologies and choice of starting materials used to produce the MIMS state to optimize the soft x-ray characteristics to adapt them to these various commercial markets. Explore marketing and production alliances with existing technology equipment firms that currently have market share in these various commercial markets. For the military applications, continue the development of the technology and equipment design so that it can be transitioned to a counter-WMD program of record.
|| References: ||
1. Bae, Y., "Metastable inner-shell molecular state (MIMS)," Physics letters. A, 2008. 372(29): p. 4865-4869.
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9. Tasker, D.G., et al., "Electromagnetic effects on explosive reaction and plasma," in 14th International Detonation Symposium - 2010 (B. Asay, eds.).
10. Tasker, D.G., "Design of a Miniature Explosive Isentropic Compression Experiment," in Thirteenth Conference on the Generation of Megagauss Magnetic Fields, Megagauss XIII - 2010eds.).
|Keywords: ||Warm Dense Matter, Shock Waves, X-rays|