Thursday, August 17, 2023

Brian Cox Breaks Silence: "The Universe Existed Before Big Bang"

Modern Science explains the origin of the universe with the Big Bang Theory.

According to this theory, our world emerged from the explosion of singularity, a point in space-time where energy density and mass approach infinity, and all dimensions reach zero.

But Recently, Brian Cox has made a bold announcement stating that the universe has always existed and the Big Bang Theory is wrong.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Custom Vacuum Designs

Over the years xtronix has delivered many custom designed products, both systems and components. xtronix custom designs removes the burdensome task of design engineering, parts procurement, assembly, testing and final qualification. We work with suppliers, often companies we actively distribute products of, to obtain the best price and delivery, leaving our customers more time to focus on their own applications and less time worrying about all the intricacies of custom designs. Solid Sealing Technology (SST) partners with us for various custom feedthrough assemblies. Here is an overview of their capabilities:

The basis of most Solid Sealing Technology products is ceramic-to-metal sealing and/or glass-ceramic sealing. The process of making your custom part(s) begins with a comprehensive review of engineering needs that ensures a complete understanding of the application’s requirements. A skilled team will define a production plan that gets you your hermetic feedthroughs and connectors quickly. 

SST materials and components are sourced from world-class suppliers. Detailed documentation and specifications are available for all custom hermetic feedthroughs and connectors to ensure the materials meet your needs. 

All components at SST must meet strict standards and are processed through a customized cleaning system. The standardized process includes a specialty aqueous cleaner followed by a cascade DI water rinse. This cleaning process has been used and approved by key customers like Sandia National Labs and the United States' Army. The same process can be used for precision cleaning of metals, ceramics, and glass and is suitable for UHV environments. SST will ship your custom hermetic products sealed so they are ready to use out of the box. 

With your production plan in place, SST will begin manufacturing your parts. Whether you are creating a completely new custom hermetic product or modifying one of our many hermetic feedthroughs or connectors, we offer a technology suite that will meet your needs. SST offers metalizing and plating of ceramics, active metal joining, vacuum and hydrogen brazing, glass-ceramic sealing, TIG welding, spot welding, machining, and mechanical assembly. 

SST verifies all critical requirements before shipping, and the customer service team will provide any product-related resources you need. SST offers vacuum-bagging and other special packaging options if needed. Parts will arrive clean and ready to use out of the box.

Calibrated tools, vision systems, and a CMM are used to verify mechanical attributes. And electrical requirements are validated with the latest electrical test equipment. SST is certified compliant to ISO9001:2015 and often works within the more stringent requirements of defense and medical customers.
  • Helium Leak Detection – 100% of SST parts are leak tested before shipping. Parts are tested to a leak rate of less than 1x10^-10
  • Pressure Testing - Hydrostatic Pressure testing up to 30,000 psi
  • Electrical Testing – Continuity, HiPot/DWV (Dielectric Withstanding Voltage), Megohm Resistance, Capacitance, Heat Rise Testing
  • Physical Testing - Torque, Push-Pull Testing, Engagement Force Measurement
  • CMM, Vision Systems, Go/No-Go thread and pin gauges, Surface Profilometer, and certified metrology equipment for inspection and analysis
  • XRF Thickness Testing of Coatings & Material Verification
  • Basic Thermal Testing: LN2 exposure, vacuum bakeout
  • Fiber Optic Insertion Loss Testing

Click for more

Thursday, March 9, 2023

The most efficient Radionuclide Identifying Device (RID)

Detects and identifies nuclides in mixed, shielded and heavily masked configurations including Special Nuclear Material (SNM).

The DiscoveRAD is ultra-compact, rugged, sensitive, lightweight and.... is even game for a dip to 10 meters 1(IP68)!

Spectrometry at up to 1 million cps between 10 KeV to 1 MeV.

Law enforcement, customs, and other agencies are using RIDs as part of a national strategy to stop illicit trafficking of radioactive material. When radiation sources are detected by screening devices such as radiation portal monitors or radiation pagers, RIDs are used to analyze the nature of the radioactive source and determine if it presents a high-level threat.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

High Sensitivity Multifunction Compton Camera

Compton imaging exploits inelastic scattering, known as Compton scattering, using a Compton camera consisting of a scatterer detector in the front layer and an absorber detector in the back layer. Compton imaging can discriminate gamma rays over a wide energy range from several  hundred keV to several MeV.

Damavan Imaging was founded in 2014 to develop its 8 Temporal Imaging proprietary patents and software. In 2015 it won a big grant from the French Nuclear Waste Agency, ANDRA, to develop a Compton camera able to image low activity waste. In 2018 Damavan Imaging won a Horizon 2020 EU SME Award.

Product Introduction: 
Temporal Imaging is a new concept for gamma ray imaging that uses both light and time distribution of each scintillation event to localize precisely each scintillation event in space (X,Y,Z), time (T) and energy (E).
This new imaging concept allows an improvement on the voxel size for each scintillation event (1x1x2mm) on each of the two detector plates. It also allows a coincidence veto between the 2 Compton plates.
Temporal δ Delta is the first device to use this new concept. It has an exceptional Signal/noise ratio thanks to the time veto between it’s 2 plates.
The Temporal δ Delta V3 is equipped with a small spectroscopic CZT detector and also enable isotope identification, simple dosimetry and 4 Pi source detection.
Temporal δ is the best Compton imager (400 KeV - 3000 KeV), excellent spectrometer (50 KeV - 3000 KeV), stable photon counter with dose estimation.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Selecting the best crystal for your coating process

A quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) takes advantage of the piezoelectric effect found in quartz crystals. Application of an electric potential across the quartz crystal induces mechanical shear strain in the crystal. If the polarity of this electric potential is reversed, the strain direction reverses. Rapid oscillation of the electric potential polarity leads to vibrational motion of the quartz crystal. Under the proper conditions, this vibration can induce an acoustic standing wave between the two crystal faces. The frequency of the standing wave is proportional to the thickness of the quartz crystal. If additional material is uniformly deposited on the face of the crystal, the additional thickness will decrease the resonant frequency of the acoustic wave. This frequency shift due to mass deposition may be correlated to the absolute mass deposited via the following substituted form of the Sauerbrey equation:

where pq is the density of quartz, Aq is the area of resonance, Nq is a frequency constant for AT-cut quartz crystals (1.668 X 105 Hz cm), Fq is the frequency of quartz prior to deposition, and F is the frequency at any point during the deposition process. This equation is only valid if the total frequency shift is kept within 2% of the starting frequency. 

In summary, the thickness of the added layer changes the wavelength of the standing wave resonance. In essence, a deposited film acts as if the quartz is increasing in thickness. The thicker the crystal, the longer the resonance wavelength. This is measured as a frequency shift at the monitor. The film density value is input in order to compensate the density difference between the film deposited and the density of quartz which is 2.648 g/cc.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

10 μm-thick four-quadrant transmissive silicon photodiodes for beam position monitor application: electrical characterization and gamma irradiation effects


Silicon photodiodes are very useful devices as X-ray beam monitors in synchrotron radiation beamlines. Owing to Si absorption, devices thinner than 10 µm are needed to achieve transmission over 90% for energies above 10 keV. 

In this work, new segmented four-quadrant diodes for beam alignment purposes are fabricated on both ultrathin (10 µm-thick) and bulk silicon substrates. Four-quadrant diodes implementing different design parameters as well as auxiliary test structures (single diodes and MOS capacitors) are studied. An extensive electrical characterization, including current-voltage (I-V) and capacitance-voltage (C-V) techniques, is carried out on non-irradiated and gamma-irradiated devices up to 100 Mrad doses. Special attention is devoted to the study of radiation-induced charge build-up in diode interquadrant isolation dielectric, as well as its impact on device interquadrant resistance. 

Finally, the devices have been characterized with an 8 keV laboratory X-ray source at 108 ph/s and in BL13-XALOC ALBA Synchrotron beamline with 1011 ph/s and energies from 6 to 16 keV. Sensitivity, spatial resolution and uniformity of the devices have been evaluated

Download PDF Article

(a) Front and (b) back side pictures of a processed Si wafer showing the final devices

Thursday, September 1, 2022

A1427 KIT Low Noise Fast Current Preamplifier & Discriminator

The CAEN A1427 is a fast and low noise current preamplifier with AC coupled input. It hosts two outputs: EOUT (unipolar) that can be integrated to calculate the energy associated to the input signal and FOUT (bipolar) that can be used to calculate the rate of the input signal, discriminating the negative pole using the A1428 discriminator that is specifically designed to fit with A1427. The discriminator thresholds are settable from -1 to -100 mV via a 10-turn rotary handle with lock.

A1427 Kit configuration is also available. It includes the A1427 and the A1428 assembled together, both  for fission chambers and for proton recoil detectors.


  • Fast non-inverting preamplifier, negative output (EOUT)
  • Input impedance: 50 Ω AC coupled
  • Output high impedance (EOUT)
  • Bipolar output high impedance (FOUT)
  • Test input (TEST IN) impedance: 50 Ω, negative polarity
  • FOUT/DET IN gain (FOUT negative lobe):
  • FC version: 700÷2500
  • PR version: 500÷1500
  • FOUT/TEST IN gain: 1/100 of DET IN gain
  • Output noise (peak to peak) < 40 mV
  • Up to 3 kV detector bias voltage (HV IN)
  • Rbias: 200 kΩ

Monday, February 21, 2022


Solid Sealing Technology (SST) designs and manufactures essential electrical components for today’s high-tech world. SST's innovative material-joining technologies bond ceramics and glass to metal to create hermetic feedthroughs and connectors tailored for use in vacuum environments. Experts in design, SST offers a vast catalog of standard high-performance sealing solutions that improve reliability in demanding engineering settings. And for customers with unique challenges, SST’s skilled engineering group creates fully customized parts from the ground up. Working with an unrivaled commitment to quality and customer service, SST inspires innovation and enables technology around the world.

With a focus on customer satisfaction, SST strives to constantly improve their quality management system and product performance. SST are proud to be ISO9001 certified. 

Solid Sealing Technology's commitment to continuous improvement extends to all aspects of their business, from the first contact with customers to delivery of your final part. Through persistent attention to quality and customer service, SST ensure that they meet customers' needs with reliable high-performing vacuum products spanning feedthroughs, connectors, isolators, viewports, pinch-off tubes, and related accessories for both air-side and vacuum-side use.
SST engineers work closely with every customer to deliver custom hermetic solutions that can be found behind the scenes of some of the world’s most advanced technologies. Examples include industrial, medical, and research facilities where SST parts are used in equipment like energy storage systems, MRI machines, and particle accelerators. They have even sent parts to Mars, empowering NASA’s Mars Insight Mission to tackle the challenges of our solar system. Highly InnovativeCreatively Bespoke, and Impressively Robust, SST hermetic sealing solutions help push the boundaries of technological advancement in an evolving world.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

New Portable Device for Automated Radon Detection

The device, which features a silicon sensor manufactured at IMB-CNM's Clean Room, monitors radon levels automatically and remotely. Radon gas is the largest source of natural radiation exposure in humans and causes 3-14% of lung cancer cases.

The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), through the Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona (IMB-CNM-CSIC), has collaborated in the design and development of a prototype for the detection of radon gas, a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can be found in the interior spaces of buildings. It consists of a small device that connects to a wireless network and automatically monitors radon levels in its environment in buildings. This detection system contains a silicon sensor manufactured in the Clean Room of the IMB-CNM-CSIC.

The prototype, still in the standardization phase, is the result of the CARE project, an initiative that has been led by the company Alibava Systems and has had the participation of two public research centers, the IMB-CNM-CSIC and the Instituto Galego de Física de Altas Enerxías (IGFAE) of the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, which has been responsible for carrying out the calibration and validation tests, both in its experimental facilities and in real environments. CARE also involves three companies, ATI Sistemas SL, Radiansa Consulting SL, Sensing & Control Systems SL.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Compact Tracking Telescope for High Energy Particles


The ALIBAVA Telescope has been successfully operated at the DESY and CERN-SPS beam lines.

The telescope consists of at least three planes (stations). The stations use ALIBAVA daughter boards to take the tracking information from two 90 degrees-turned strip sensors for XY positioning. The stations act as reference frame and allow precise track reconstruction. Each daughter connects to an ALIBAVA motherboard to process the information and they to a unique master board that synchronizes and controls the whole system. The system is triggered by two scintillators located at both ends.

Several devices can be tested simultaneously. Analysis of charge collection, cluster width, efficiency, resolution, time profile and other parameters of the devices under test with the software provided.

The telescope provides accurate particle tracking and hit point projection on device under test.


This product is sold under license of Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and University of Valencia (Spain)

  • Sensor: Microstrip Silicon, P‐on‐N silicon.
  • Sensor size: 10x10 mm2
  • Thickness: 300 μm
  • Read-out channels: 128
  • Pitch: 80 μm
  • Spatial resolution: < 10 μm
  • Chip BEETLE (technology from CERN/LHC)
  • Clock speed: 40 MHz
  • Dynamic range: 4 MIP
  • Synchronous external trigger. Trigger boards available.
  • Analysis software for Windows, Linux, Mac.
  • Station dimensions: 100x80 mm2
  • Mother and Master board dimensions: 247x172x32 mm3
  • Voltage supply: +5 V
  • Mechanical structure and cooling available

Click for more details

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

What is a Kelvin probe?

The Kelvin probe is a non-contact, non-destructive vibrating capacitor device used to measure the work function (wf) of conducting materials or surface potential (sp) of semiconductor or insulating surfaces. The wf of a surface is typically defined by the topmost 1 - 3 layers of atoms or molecules, so the Kelvin probe is one of the most sensitive surface analysis techniques available. KP Technology systems offer a very high wf resolution of 1 - 3 meV, currently the highest achieved by any commercial device.

The Kelvin probe does not actually touch the surface; rather an electrical contact is made to another part of the sample or sample holder. The probe tip is typically 0.2 - 2.0 mm away from the sample and it measures the 'traditional work function', i.e. that found in literature tables. Other techniques, using very sharp tips some 10's of nanometers away from the sample, measure very reduced and distorted work functions due to the close separation of tip and sample.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Hands-on Educational Tool for Physics

EASy is a portable, compact and complete system for microstrip sensor characterization that uses the front-end readout Beetle chip developed for CERN / LHC experiments.

EASy is a plug-and-play educational system based on the Alibava System. All components needed to start measuring are assembled and prepared, including the microstrip sensor. EASY allows for a quick and simple setup, ideal for student laboratory experiments. Furthermore, a 69-page practical exercise book for the students is included.

The system introduces high-energy physics and particle detectors to physics students with hands-on experience. It familiarizes the students with concepts such as MIP, charge deposition, full depletion and interstrip pitch among others.

EASy can be configured to work with laser light or radioactive sources. The set-up is ideal for making basic or complex experiments with silicon microstrip detectors similar to the ones performed in the actual research field, in facilities such as the LHC at CERN, DESY, FERMILAB, Synchrotrons, etc. This easy-to-use electronic equipment establishes the basis for an affordable and complete set for student laboratory experiments.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

CAEN Digitizer Whitepaper

In recent years CAEN has developed a complete family of digitizers that consists of several models differing in sampling frequency, resolution, form factor and other features. Besides the use of the digitizers as waveform recorders (oscilloscope mode), CAEN offers the possibility to upload special versions of the FPGA firmware that implement algorithms for the Digital Pulse Processing (DPP); when the digitizer runs in DPP mode, it becomes a new instrument that represents a complete digital replacement of most traditional modules such as Multi Channel Analyzers, QDCs, TDCs, Discriminators and many others.

Get up to speed by reviewing the details on this web-based whitepaper, which also highlights all available form factors (VNE / NIM / Desktop) as well as the next generation of digitizers which offer:
  • More density, faster sampling rate, higher resolution for higher performances
  • Increased communication readout through 1/10 Gb Ethernet, USB 3.0 (yet keeping proprietary CONET)
  • Easier multi-board synchronization (clock and timing distribution)
  • Increase of acquisition memory buffer size: from SSRAM to DDR4 (=> from MBs to GBs)
  • Single FPGA (Xilinx Zynq US+ ) architecture => more resources for DPP algorithms and support for “Open FPGA
  • Embedded quad-core ARM (Linux) => middleware, web interface. Possibility to run user Data Processing SW

Friday, January 22, 2021

CAEN x1081 Programmable Logic Units

Coincidence, Trigger Logic, Counter, Pulse Generator and more

The DT1081A and N1081B are the new CAEN pocketknife tools that incorporate in a single module the most common functionalities that you need to implement the logic capabilities of your laboratory setup. Whenever you are in need to rapidly configure and perform multiple logic operations at a time, the x1081 is your supporter thanks to its flexibility.
Coincidence, scaler, timer, pulse generator, time stamper, Leading Edge Discriminator (Coming Soon) are only a small portion of the possible functions that can run on the four independent sections of the board. All this is achievable with just a few taps on the touchscreen display while a web interface is available to allow remote control via USB and Ethernet. NIM format is suitable to replace old-style crate analog electronics while the Desktop is its handy evolution to ease working at small benchtop setups.

>>> Click to start video <<<

The CAEN N1081A is a laboratory tool that incorporates in a single NIM module the most common functionalities that you need to implement the logic capabilities of your experiment.

The module is organized in four sections, with 6 inputs and 4 outputs each (selectable impedance) accepting TTL/NIM signals. Each section is configurable independently according to one of the available pre-programmed functions, like scaler, counter, time stamping, digital pulse generator, etc. The section programming can be done using the 2.8” touch screen display or via the web-interface. Each section integrates a discriminator with programmable threshold and an asynchronous Gate & Delay with 5ns resolution. This allows the user to trim at best the needed parameters and to perform accurate measurements.

Click here for more details!

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Solid Sealing Technology Starts 2021 With New Website

Solid Sealing Technology, our partners in Ceramic Feedthroughs and thousands of industry standard parts for vacuum technology, have opened 2021 with a new website which we invite you to visit: 

Solid Sealing Technology designs and manufactures essential electrical components for today’s high-tech world. Their innovative material-joining technologies bond ceramics and glass to metal to create hermetic feedthroughs and connectors tailored for use in vacuum environments. Experts in design, SST offers a vast catalog of standard high-performance sealing solutions that improve reliability in demanding engineering settings. And for customers with unique challenges, SST’s skilled engineering group creates fully customized parts from the ground up.

SST products include: vacuum feedthroughs, hermetic connectors, ceramic-to-metal sealing, metalizing and brazing of ceramics, glass-ceramic sealing, sapphire viewports, UHV-grade copper pinch-off tubules and custom feedthrough design.

SST engineers work closely with every customer to deliver custom hermetic solutions and industry-leading ceramic-to-metal seals that can be found behind the scenes of some of the world’s most advanced technologies. Examples include industrial, medical, and research facilities where SST parts are used in equipment like energy storage systems, MRI machines, and particle accelerators. SST have even sent parts to Mars, empowering NASA’s Mars Insight Mission to tackle the challenges of our solar system. Highly Innovative, Creatively Bespoke, and Impressively Robust, SST vacuum feedthroughs and hermetic connectors help push the boundaries of technological advancement in an evolving world.


Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Didactic Kits for University of Fribourg

At the Faculty of Science and Medicine of the University of Fribourg, they teach the next generation of scientists and doctors, with a particular focus on life sciences, biomedicine, and nanomaterials. They train them to face the future challenges of our society.

During Q1/2012 they will be receiving two new Educational Kits & Experiments for training students with state-of-the-art didactic tools from CAEN, world leader in nuclear and particle physics instrumentation.

SP5700-EasyPET in this tutorial, is a simple, user friendly and portable didactic PET system developed for high-level education, which allows exploring the physical and technological principles of the conventional human PET scanners, using the same basic detectors of state-of- the-art systems. The Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanner is the state-of-the-art medical imaging system, capable of providing detailed functional information of physiological processes inside the human body. Functional imaging has a great impact in cancer diagnostics, monitoring of therapy effects and cancer drug development. The underlying principle to PET systems is the detection of high energy radiation emitted from a chemical marker, a molecule labelled with a radioisotope, administered to a patient. The radioisotope emits positrons which, after annihilating with atomic electrons, result in the isotropic emission of two photons back to back with an energy of 511 keV. The two photons are detected by a ring of detectors, which allows a pair of them to detect two back to back photons in any direction.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Ф4 Ultra-high Vacuum Scanning Kelvin Probe

The Ф4 Ultra-high Vacuum Scanning Kelvin Probe system gives the user full access to work function measurements under vacuum with the ability to alter the temperature from 77 K to 860 K. The Kelvin probe measurement has resolution of 1 - 3 meV for a 2 mm tip on a conducting sample. The sample is mounted on a plate that is located on a motorized (x, y, z) translator attached to a stainless steel vacuum chamber. Phi 4 also comes with a photoemission spectroscopy system with a tunable source (3.4 - 7.0 eV). The deep ultra-violet (DUV) light spot measures approximately 3 x 4 mm. Absolute work function measurements can be obtained with this system in the range of 4.0 - 6.5 eV with an accuracy of 0.05 - 0.1 eV.

The system can be upgraded with surface photovoltage spectroscopy through utilizing other ports in the system chamber. Liquid nitrogen is used as the method of cooling the sample and heating is achieved by controllable direct current. Nitrogen gas is used to displace the oxygen to facilitate the use of the photoemission system source. An optical breadboard is used to support the chamber and standard power is required for operation.

Φ4: Scanning, ambient pressure photoemission spectroscopy, surface photovoltage
and surface photovoltage spectroscopy capabilities

Friday, October 9, 2020

Black Holes Matter

Congratulations to this trio for winning the 2020 Physics Nobel:

Roger Penrose for linking black hole formation to relativity; Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez for discovery of supermassive object.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Radiation detection for Gamma Spectroscopy and/or Neutron-Gamma Discrimination

i-Spector is an innovative product by CAEN, designed to operate as full-featured radiation detection systems for Gamma Spectroscopy and/or Neutron-Gamma Discrimination. Its profile makes this unit ideal for many portable applications where size, weight and power consumption are important constraints. Depending on the selected model, the i-Spector is suitable for a wide range of applications:
  • PMT replacement in physics experiment
  • Laboratory R&D on SiPM technology
  • Portable Gamma-Spectroscopy Industrial process monitoring
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Handheld border control against illicit traffic of radioactive material
  • Neutron detection experiments
  • Vehicle/personnel check-point portals
i-Spector is an all-in-one detector and electronics instrument based on a SiPM area (18×18 mm2, 24×24 mm2 or 30×30 mm2), possibly coupled to a scintillation crystal suitable for the chosen application. The i-Spector integrates in a compact tube-like mechanics the detection stage, frontend electronics, an integrated power supply for SiPM biasing and, eventually, a digital chain to process onboard the incoming data. The i-Spector can be controlled via Ethernet and/or wireless communication based on LoRa standard.

A web-based GUI allows the user to set the acquisition parameters, see results on plot and perform basic data analysis.

Multiple i-Spector tubes can be connected and controlled from a single PC. The API interface allows to control multiple devices using very simple HTTP requests and JSON vectors. A cloud-based software (Rad Cloud – FREE TRIAL) allows to build a network of i-Spector units, collecting data from the detectors and displaying them on maps or interactive tables.

i-Spector is available as OEM electronics, to encourage integration in more complex detection systems, or in ASSEMBLY version, with a suitable scintillation crystal coupled to the SiPM area. The standard assembly is available with CsI for Gamma Spectroscopy and EJ-276 for Gamma-Neutron Discrimination. Other crystals can be mounted on request. The ASSEMBLY unit is enclosed in a light-tight aluminum/plastic tube ( Ø 60 mm, h 135 mm ), with the possibility to unmount the crystal holder and easily change it.
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