NOVA Scientific and neutron research on SARS-CoV-2 virus

April 15, 2020 – Neutron detection and imaging are having a prominent impact and have much more to contribute in the coming months.  The information gained will dramatically increase our understanding of atomic scale structural and functional information of the new and deadly COVID-19 virus macromolecule. Neutron research reactors worldwide have now forcefully, and with remarkable speed, mobilized research teams in recent weeks to focus almost exclusively on gaining critical information on the virus.  For example, knowledge of the protonation of enzyme reactions is greatly facilitated by neutron probes, which are uniquely able to reveal critical details about the structural positioning of hydrogen atoms in particular. 

NOVA’s neutron detectors, for many years, have advanced the capabilities of national laboratories in tackling some of the most challenging neutron science experiments, both in the U.S. and worldwide. One powerful example of the ambitious efforts now underway is our long-standing partner the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where an intensive campaign is underway at the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) and the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR). Relevant experiments to more deeply and rapidly gain knowledge about the life-threatening virus  include such neutron techniques as neutron macromolecular crystallography, small-angle scattering, reflectometry, spectroscopy, and high-resolution neutron imaging – the latter in particular an area where NOVA technology can provide a distinct advantage. 

Finally, we also strongly support our colleagues at Columbia University, now urgently applying informatics techniques to understanding the virus in an interdisciplinary approach.  Beyond measure, we are all grateful to the dedication and sacrifice of those on front lines everywhere.

NOVA Scientific Receives Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Award from the Department of Energy (DOE)

January 7, 2019 – NOVA Scientific, Inc. was granted a U.S. Department of Energy SBIR award to develop, refine, and commercialize a large format (150mm) solid-state neutron imaging detector for cold to epithermal energies, based on its unique patent-protected neutron-sensitive microchannel plate (MCP) technology.

This large area time-of-flight (TOF) detector, with integrated electronic imaging readout, will be capable of TOF energy-dispersive neutron imaging, providing very high spatial resolution (<50 µm FWHM) simultaneously with ultrafast timing resolution (<1 µs) – instantaneously encoding position and wavelength information, hence enabling energy-selective and energy-dispersive neutron imaging – of increasing importance for a variety of current as well as newly emerging applications in neutron science.

The very high neutron efficiencies now attainable with NOVA’s NeuViewTM MCPs will minimize data collection time, and allow maximum utilization of valuable neutron beam time.  The outstanding capabilities of neutron-sensitive MCP detectors, in this imaging context with pulsed neutron sources, have been amply demonstrated in several recent refereed publications by an international group of neutron researchers.  NOVA will continue to work closely with the neutron facilities (SNS/HFIR) and staff members of the Detector Group of Oak Ridge National Lab’s (ORNL) Neutron Sciences Directorate, for neutron testing and advanced application requirements.

US Patent #9,941,438

April 10, 2018 – NOVA Scientific was awarded US Patent 9,941,438, which extends the neutron response of microchannel plate (MCP) neutron imaging detectors well beyond thermal neutron energies into the higher ‘epithermal’ energy range (0.1 eV – 100 eV). This advances the state-of-the art in epithermal neutron imaging and detection, providing both very high resolution in both time and position simultaneously. Application areas that will benefit include the powerful new generation of pulsed neutron sources now coming online, which provide a broad range of neutron energies through time-of-flight (TOF) methods. For example, improved neutron detection efficiency at energies above thermal, can facilitate energy-resolved and Bragg edge imaging of materials, enabling highly useful measurements of crystallographic structure, strain, phase, and compositional distribution. Neutron activation techniques may also benefit. NOVA’s NeuView™ MCPs provide a completely unique and simultaneous combination of exceptional spatial and timing resolution, in a wide range of formats of up to 150mm across, with active imaging or detection areas approaching ~200 cm2.

EU Patent #2,859,381

August 9, 2017 – NOVA Scientific was issued EU patent #2,859,381, expanding our international coverage for our highly unique gamma ray discrimination and rejection approach with neutron-sensitive MCPs. This continues NOVA’s ongoing strategy of expanding and strongly protecting our pioneering innovation and continuing advances in neutron-sensitive MCP detection technology.

Precision Measurement Technologies

June 23, 2017 – NOVA Scientific, together with Surface Concept of Mainz, Germany, has selected Precision Measurement Technologies of Clearwater, FL to be the exclusive North American distributor of their actively pumped microchannel plate based neutron imaging system.


This detector, utilizing Surface Concept’s digital delay line readout and NOVA’s NeuViewTM neutron sensitive detection plates, allows both simultaneous ultra-fast timing and high spatial resolution, placing it at the forefront of neutron imaging and detection products available in the marketplace today.


For more information on this state of the art detector, please see our products page. For additional sales information or to receive a quote, please visit PMT’s neutron detection page, or call 727-532-6144.

US Patent #9,651,688

May 16, 2017 – NOVA Scientific has a growing set of patents, both domestic and foreign, addressing highly effective gamma ray discrimination and rejection with neutron-sensitive microchannel plates (MCPs). An additional such patent has just been issued, US patent 9,651,688. This is only the latest patent in an extensive IP portfolio advancing the state-of-the-art in neutron imaging and detection. NOVA’s NeuView™ MCPs provide a completely unique and simultaneous combination of exceptional spatial and timing resolution.

US Patent #9,297,914

March 29, 2016 – NOVA Scientific was issued US patent 9,297,914, further advancing highly effective gamma ray discrimination in NOVA’s microchannel plate based neutron detectors, while still preserving outstanding neutron detection sensitivity. This is only the latest patent in an extensive portfolio of patents, advancing the state-of-the-art in neutron imaging and detection, providing a unique combination of exceptional spatial and timing resolution simultaneously.