Boreskov Institute of Catalysis was founded in 1958 as a part of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The founder and the first Director of the Institute till 1984 was academician Georgii Konstantinovich Boreskov.
One of the main activity areas of the Boreskov Institute of Catalysis is fundamental investigations in catalytic science to discover new principles of chemical reactions and to create innovative catalytic compositions and technologies.
Boreskov Institute of Catalysis places high emphasis to training of young scientists. On the basis of Institute a lot of students and PhD students are doing scientific practical works.
14 April 2016
|Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics and Boreskov Institute of Catalysis (Russia, Novosibirsk) will produce blocks of aerogel for Jefferson Lab CLAS12 experiment (USA). The goal of the experiment is to study the properties of hadrons. Aerogel will be used in the Ring Imaging Cherenkov detector (RICH) as a radiator. Novosibirsk aerogel is a synthesized material with the unique properties, it has the best characteristics to be used in RICH: high transparency and the form of large blocks.|
“In science aerogel is used in RICH detectors for registration of elementary particles,” said Dr. Evgeniy Kravchenko. “RICH consists of radiator (aerogel in this case), and the photon detector. A charged particle passing through aerogel produces a flash of Cherenkov radiation (photons). Photons are emitted at a certain angle to the direction of particle movement, which depends on its velocity. Photons are collected by focusing mirrors and being registered. Knowing the coordinates of photons detection we can determine the particle’s velocity, which allows to study its properties.”
Jefferson Lab's Physics Division Deputy Associate Director Patrizia Rossi said that the CLAS12 experimental program covered many topics in hadron physics, and its flagship is the 3D imaging of the nucleon. She commented, the studies would be made using an electron beam with energies up to 11 GeV, which would be sent to hydrogen and deuterium targets. A lot of approved experiments required an efficient hadron identification. Thus an aerogel based RICH detector is being built to address this problem.
“The aerogel radiator is divided in two sections, a lower of 20mm thickness and an upper formed by two layers of 30mm thick,” said Patrizia Rossi. “In the double reflection, the photons emitted in the upper section must pass twice through the aerogel of the lower section. The geometry of our detector would require the overlay of many tablets resulting in degradation of the optical properties of the emitted photons, thus tiles with greater thickness and large dimensions are required. “
The development of aerogel is a result of long-term joint research of the Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics and the Boreskov Institute of Catalysis. Since 2013 this research is being supported by the Novosibirsk State University. And now Novosibirsk is a leader in the production of aerogel for RICH detectors. Requirements to the aerogel, which is used in these devices, are very high, the blocks of material must be large, and the radiator must be transparent.
“Cherenkov radiation is very weak,” said Dr. Alexander Danilyuk. “At least 5-10 photons of Cherenkov light should be registered from one particle. The registration of 2-3 photons is not enough to define the parameters of the particle. There is always a lack of light, so we have to fight for transparency. Light attenuation length is used to determine the transparency of material. The attenuation length is the distance where the intensity of the light beam is attenuated approximately three times. For Novosibirsk aerogel this parameter is more than 40 mm at a wavelength of 400 nanometers. It can be compared with the slightly frosted glass.”
Aerogel is a promising material not only for the scientific purposes. It can be used as an effective sound and heat insulation material, but it hasn’t become widespread due to its high cost and complex production. The cost of the aerogel used in RICH is a few thousand dollars per liter.
“We will make the production of aerogel cheaper, if we abandon the shape of a solid block, and turn to the granules or crumbs. The use of the cheaper materials of another chemical composition will also make the production of aerogel cheaper. There are many substances on which basis aerogels have been already obtained. We are working hard in this direction and have already found the customers in the field of thermal insulation. The production of such gel is also difficult, but easier than the production of blocks," commented Alexander Danilyuk.
Source: Press release of BINP SB RAS