The State of New Hampshire’s committee responsible for implementing the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) has selected the proposal from the University of New Hampshire and Xemed entitled “Advanced Hyperpolarized Gas Technology for Basic Science and Economic Development” as its submission for 2011. Twenty-nine states and jurisdictions across the country whose level of federal research funding is less-than-average are eligible to submit a single proposal. New Hampshire’s proposal will now compete at the national level for three years of funding from the Department of Energy.
The proposal includes three subprojects, each based on Xemed’s polarization technology. First, a collaboration between UNH, Xemed, and the Spallation Neutron Source in Oak Ridge, TN will refine glassware components inside Xemed’s 3He polarizer to raise its polarization level so that it can serve as a “filling station” for wide angle neuron scattering analyzers. This project also involves development of vacuum systems that do not depolarize the 3He gas. Second, a collaboration between UNH, Xemed, the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Laboratory, and the University of Mississippi will mate Xemed’s polarizer with a compressor and circulation system to create a high-pressure polarized 3He target for the accelerator’s electron beam. Third, UNH and Xemed will improve polarized xenon technology another factor four. This subproject supports DOE’s goal of transitioning clinical researchers, such as collaborators at the University of Iowa, away from using scarce 3He for diagnostic lung imaging, and may underpin a unique measurement of time-reversal symmetry in nuclear resonances.
If funding is awarded, these projects would train a dozen young UNH scientists at all levels, undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, and junior faculty; enhance capabilities at eight high-technology small businesses in five states; catalyze regional growth in high-paying technology jobs; and place UNH scientists at the core of some of the most compelling fundamental research advances being planned at the DOE National Labs over the next decade.