Production. Microchannel Plates

Microchannel Plates (MCPs) - products of electronic engineering consist of millions of subminiature channel electron multipliers (CEMs) having almost identical characteristics. MCPs are intended for operating in vacuum as multichannel detectors and amplifiers of charged particles flows and radiations distributed in space. Due to unique properties, MCPs are used in many spheres of science and engineering, but first of all these products are used for electron image intensification inside night vision technique image intensifiers. MCP is the main element of an image intensifier, which is in its turn primary element of a night vision device (NVD). That’s why MCP characteristics determine NVD parameters.

BASPIK MCP manufacturing technology is unique, and has no analogues in the world.

LLC "BASPIK" produces Microchannel Plates of different configurations: round, square, rectangular, with center hole, having 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 um pore size. MCP pore size variation is not higher than 1.3%. Our company manufactures MCPs with 4 um pore size.

"BASPIK" MCPs limiting resolution DOESN'T CHANGE or CHANGES INSIGNIFICANTLY at voltage incensement:


  • Pic. 1. "BASPIK" MCPs resolution
  • Pic. 2. Limiting resolution of  "BASPIK" MCPs with 8, 6, 5 and 4um pore size versus MCP Voltage at Field Strength of MCP - Phosphors Screen equal to 10KV/mm.

Microchannel plates with 4 and 5 um pore size must be thin (250um and less). VTC "BASPIK" production technology permits such MCPs manufacturing preserving MCP configuration even after thermo-vacuum bakeout. "BASPIK" fine-structural MCPs with 4–6um pore size, 213-294um in thickness don’t change in configuration after thermo-vacuum bakeout at temperature levels of about 420-500°С during 24 hours, and don’t crack after mechanical testing procedures.

MCPs mechanical strength permits their utilization inside Image Intensifier Tubes intended for Night Vision Devices of broad applications.

The results of construction-technological testings, which take place in the company regularly, showed that mechanical strength of "BASPIK" MCPs meets Microchannel Plates technical requirements and withstands sinusoidal vibration (at acceleration of 10g, 15g and 20g and frequency band within 1 – 1000 Hz, during 6 hours, 3 hours at each of two mutually perpendicular directions), single mechanical shock (at acceleration of 300g, shock pulse duration 1 – 3 ms, shocks number 10000,15000 and 20000) and single mechanical shocks (at acceleration of 500g, 750g, 1000g and 1500g, total shocks number - 6, 3 shocks at each of two mutually perpendicular directions).

LLC VTC "BASPIK" MCPs gassing level is low,operating life is long. The plates don’t need to be cleaned at that.

At MCPs exploitation under space charge saturation mode pulse height distribution has the following characteristics:

a) pulse height resolution is 100–125%, peak-to-valley ratio 1.5–2. MCPs almost don’t produce dark scintillations with energy higher than 2е.

b) MCP Noise Factor is in the range of 1.9 – 2.3.

  • Pic. 3. Single-electron pulse height distribution 6μm pore size MCP,
    at gain 3*104 (UMCP = 1260 V).
  • Pic. 4. MCP dark pulses distribution 6μm pore size MCP,
    at gain 3*104(UMCP = 1260 V).
    Dark count rate density is 0,39 cps/cm2 (cps – count per second).
    MCP dark current density is not higher than 1*10-15A/cm2.

MCP Exploitation Directions

  1. MCP is intended for operating in vacuum at residual gasses pressure not higher than 1.33×10-3Pa (1×10-5Torr).
  2. While operating with MCP it is necessary to follow clean rooms hygiene technical and organizational requirements according to State Standard ISO 14644-1-200; indoors: range of purity 7 ISO; work place range of purity 5 ISO.
  3. Environment temperature must be in the range of 20 - 24°С, relative humidity - 40% - 65%.
  4. The air inside clean rooms and working areas mustn’t contain any alkali metals compounds, chlorine or microorganisms.
  5. Thermo-vacuum bakeout is allowed at 460°С during not longer than 6 hours, at maximum pressure level 1.33×10-4Pa (1×10-6Torr).
  6. Preliminary MCP physicochemical processing, MCP processing with reaction gasses and alkali metals vapors when making Image Intensifier Tubes is allowed only after modes conditions consideration by the manufacturer.
  7. Maximum shelf life of "BASPIK" MCPs inside packings provided by their manufacturer is 6 months. Long-term storage of MCPs is allowed in vacuum, using oil-free pumps, at maximum residual gasses pressure 1.33×10-3Pa (1×10-5Torr).

External Actions

  1. Exceeding of environmental, mechanical and special actions mentioned in Specification is not allowed.
  2. Measurement of oil content within working zones, where MCP is operated is to be done regularly with the help of limiting wetting angle measurement. The limiting wetting angle mustn’t be greater than 10° at that.
  3. The air inside clean rooms and working areas mustn’t contain any alkali metals compounds, chlorine or microorganisms. The absence of contaminations is to be affirmed with the help of periodic check protocols. Technical areas and energy carriers requirements as well as the periodic check methods must correspond the following:
    • compressed air class 0, State Standard 17433-80;
    • high purity gaseous nitrogen, sort 2 , State Standard 9293-74, Purity class 1 according to Branch Standard ОСТ 11 050.003-83;
    • high purity isopropyl alcohol, Plant Standard, ТУ СОМР 2-018-06;
    • deionized water, mark В ОСТ 11.029.003-80.
  4. Vacuum installation of an Image intensifier containing MCP is to be carried out with the help of oil-free pumps by heating at the temperature and during the time mentioned in the individual MCP Specification. Vacuum pressure when installation mustn’t be better than 1.33×10-4Pa (1×10-6Torr).

MCP fastening inside applicable device

  1. Mounting of MCP inside an applicable device must be reliable; it must assure MCP safety during operating process, transportation and storage of an applicable device under conditions, mentioned in Specification. MCP mounting method inside an applicable device is to be coordinated with MCP manufacturer
  2. MCP mounting method inside an applicable device must meet device design features. Maximum MCP pressing force is 20 Н (2 kgf).
  3. Contact electrode’s surface must be clean, uneven √ Rz 0,0630,100 according to State Standard ГОСТ 2.309-73 and have no spurs and barbs.

MCP mounting inside applicable device

  1. Preliminary MCP physicochemical processing, preceding it’s mounting inside an applicable device is allowed only after modes conditions are considered by MCP manufacturer.
  2. MCP treatment with reaction gasses (such as oxygen, carbonic acid, water vapor) and alkali metals vapors during vacuum assemblage is allowed only after treatment modes and conditions are considered by MCP manufacturer.
  3. Thermo vacuum outgassing of MCP is allowed only after applicable device’s phosphor screen is outgassed and doesn’t emit reactive gasses (oxygen, fluorine, chlorine, etc), whose partial pressure mustn’t be better than 1.33×10-7Pa (1×10-9Torr).
  4. MCP electron outgassing is allowed only after outgassing modes are considered by MCP manufacturer.
  5. MCP acceptance test carried out by manufacturer of applicable device mustn’t cause any damage or contaminations of a MCP.
  6. Reutilization of MCPs demounted from an applicable device isn’t allowed.

MCP storage and transportation

  1. Minimum MCP shelf life inside individual vacuum packaging provided by MCP manufacturer in the conditions of heated storehouses with air conditioning mustn’t be longer than 6 months from the date of MCP manufacturer quality control service acceptance.

    Storage conditions:

    • ambient temperature from +5°С to +40°С;
    • relative air humidity up to 80% at ambient temperature not higher than +25°С;
    • without moisture condensations and air contaminations, according to the terms of State Standard ГОСТ 15150-69.
  2. MCP interoperational storage without individual manufacturer packaging is allowed not longer than 3 days in the atmosphere of clear dry nitrogen (high purity gaseous nitrogen, engineering, sort 1 according to State Standard ГОСТ 9293-74) or argon (premium gaseous argon, according to State Standard ГОСТ 10157-79) (maximum dew point is -70°С).
  3. Long term storage of MCPs (within 1 year) is allowed in vacuum, using oil-free pumps, at residual gasses pressure not better than 1.33×10-3Pa (1×10-5Torr).
  4. During MCP transportation thermal action of ambient temperature from +60°С to -60°С and lowered atmosphere pressure of about 1.87×104Pa (140 Torr) is tolerable.
  5. MCP transportation and storage inside consumer packaging is allowed if the terms of 2nd point of the present document section are fulfilled and if consumer packaging material doesn’t damage or contaminate MCP during Image intensifier manufacturing. Test certificate of consumer packaging is to be considered by MCP.

Manufacturer’s Warranties

Shelf-life:

6 months in container provided by the manufacturer, 1 year in vacuum (at residual gasses pressure not better than 1.33×10-3 Pa), during 4 years (minimum) as a part of applicable device. The shelf-life is to be calculated from the acceptance date of manufacturer’s quality inspection, and in a case of reacceptance from the reacceptance date.