Antimatter is often pointed to as a promising fuel for future spacecraft due to its incredibly high energy density (90MJ/ug). Unlike laser-initiated Inertial Confinement Fusion systems, it has the promise of delivering large amounts of pulsed energy with a minimal amount of infrastructure, complexity, and power. Positrons also have several advantages over anti-protons and anti-hydrogen for use as a fusion catalyst; they require less energy to create, have lower radiation risks, and more mature trapping technology in comparison to the anti-proton/anti-hydrogen.
A positron microbeam can be used to perform high resolution three-dimensional mapping of integrated circuits (IC) including defect and chemical composition analysis, enabling reverse engineering and failure analysis. The use of novel array structure field-assisted moderation techniques to generate cold positrons enables the use of positron micro-beam to image IC’s by providing significant improvements in positron flux. The positron beam energy can be varied to obtain information at different layers in an IC and the use of a micro-beam is estimated to yield information down to a few nm in depth. A significant advantage over existing techniques is that positron imaging is non-destructive and only a single sample is required for combined analysis.
Positrons are readily available from radioactive material, as a product of beta decay, or from linear accelerator sources. Positrons are more easily obtained than anti-protons. There are also promising technologies to store them, such as
Penning traps. To store positrons, you need to ‘cool’ down higher energy positrons that are naturally emitted by radioactive materials or produced by linear accelerators. The interaction of positrons with moderator materials can be used to cool down and obtain usable positrons..
As semiconductor devices continue to shrink, defects at the nanometer-scale have greater consequences. Positron Dynamics’ technology will allow manufacturers to detect defects down to the level of single-atom vacancies. Early screening for non-conforming materials leads to greater efficiencies and cost-savings in the manufacturing cycle.