Sources Sought for One (1) fully functioning X-Ray Diffractometer (XRD) System

Type of document: Contract Notice
Country: United States

Sources Sought for One (1) fully functioning X-Ray Diffractometer (XRD) System

Department of the Army

Official Address:

Zip Code:

Rebecca B. Patterson, Contract Specialist, Phone 3013945351, Email


Date Posted:


Contract Description:
(1) Action Code : SOURCES SOUGHT
This is a Sources Sought Notice only. This is not a request for proposal, but a survey to locate potential sources. This Sources Sought does not constitute an Invitation for Bids, Request for Proposals, or a Request for Quotations, and is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government to issue an order or otherwise pay for the information solicited, nor is it a guarantee of a forthcoming solicitation or contract. It is for market research purposes only. Respondents will not be notified of the results of the evaluation.
The purpose of this Sources Sought Notice is to gain knowledge of interest, capabilities, and qualifications of various members of industry, to include the Small Business Community: Small Business, Section 8(a), Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUB-Zone), Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB). The Government must ensure there is adequate competition among the potential pool of responsible contractors. Small business, Section 8(a), HUBZone, SDVOSB, WOSB, & EDWOSB businesses are highly encouraged to participate.

(2) Date : 21 AUGUST 2017
(3) Classification Code : 66
(4) NAICS Code: 334516
(5) NAICS Size Standard: 1,000 EMPLOYEES
(6) Contracting Office Address:
2800 Powder Mill Road
Bldg. 601
Adelphi, Maryland 20783
(7) Subject: Sources Sought for One (1) fully functioning X-Ray Diffractometer (XRD) system
(8) Proposed Solicitation Number: W911QX-17-T-0297
(9) Sources Sought Closing Response Date: 25 AUGUST 2017
(10) Contact Point: Rebecca Patterson, Contract Specialist,, 301-394-5351


A. Objective:

To find sources that are qualified to meet the supplies/services as listed in section 11B. Note that the specific requirements in section C are subject to change prior to the release of any solicitation.

B. Salient Characteristics

The Government requires one (1) fully functioning X-Ray Diffractometer (XRD) system with the following minimum Government requirements:

C.1 General Characteristics
C.1.1 The system shall enable the compositional, structural and morphological characterization of materials with various degrees of crystalline order, including amorphous, semi-crystalline, polycrystalline and single crystalline.
C.1.2 The system shall enable the investigation of material properties in thin films and substrates, including stress and strain, phase and composition, texture and crystal quality.
C.1.3 The system shall be equipped with fully interchangeable optics, including incident and diffracted beam components, which allow instantaneous switching at operators will for different measurement modes, including Powder X-Ray Diffraction (PXRD), In-Plane X-Ray Diffraction (IPXRD), Grazing Incidence X-Ray Diffraction (GIXRD), X-Ray Reflectivity (XRR) and High Resolution X-Ray Diffraction (HRXRD).
C.1.4 The system shall include a non-ambient chamber attachment that can facilitate low and high temperature measurements within a temperature range of -190 degrees Celsius (C) to 900 degrees C and vacuum measurements with pressures as low as ten to the power of negative one (10^-1) millibar (mbar).
C.1.5 The system shall have a sample stage that is compatible with wafers that range from eight (8) inches or more in diameter, and as thick as two (2) inches or more.
C.1.6 The system shall have a loader arm which can extract substrates of sizes three (3) inch, four (4) inch, six (6) inch, and eight (8) inch in diameter from cassettes able to hold twenty-five (25) samples or more and shall center the substrate automatically on the stage.
C.1.7 The system shall include a beam capillary for spot-size measurements, limiting effectively the incident x-ray beam diameter to fifty (50) micrometers (µm) or less.
C.1.8 The system shall include optical components that provide incident-beam configurations with variable intensity as required for the different types of x-ray techniques enabled by the system. This includes the following:
C.1.8.1 X-ray mirror that limits wavelengths to Kα1 and Kα2 and provides a direct beam intensity of 150,000,000 counts per second (cps) or more.
C.1.8.2 Two-bounce and four-bounce Ge-based monochromators that limit the beam spectrum to Kα1 and provides direct beam intensities of no less than 200,000 cps.
C.1.9 The included software shall enable the analysis of diffraction and reflectivity data, with capability for peak fitting using common peak functions, including Gaussian, Lorentzian and Voigt. The software shall be equipped with an extensive material database for diffraction peak identification, and be able to provide phase and composition identification.
C.1.10 The included software shall be able to plot color-maps, both two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D), for pole figure measurements and reciprocal space maps.
C.1.11 The software shall include simulation capability for diffraction data that utilizes input parameters for both thin film materials and substrates, including thickness, composition, substrate offcut, and strain state.

C.2 Goniometer
C.2.1 The system shall include a four-circle goniometer with state-of-the-art digital encoders for sample positioning and reporting to user interface.
C.2.2 The system shall have an open Eurelian cradle that enabled full sample rotation and movement with the following specifications:
C.2.2.1 Capability for changing the sample inclination angle in a range from zero (0) to ninety (90) degrees at 0.01 degrees or less step sizes and shall have zero (0) variation in angular position error.
C.2.2.2 Capability for in-plane sample rotation in a range of 360 degrees in both forward and backward direction at 0.01 degree step sizes or less and shall have zero (0) variation in angular position error.
C.2.2.3 Capability for lateral sample translations in two (2) perpendicular axes, X axis and Y axis, that can enable wafer mapping of six (6) inches or larger in diameter and wafers with 0.01 millimeter (mm) step size or smaller with an accuracy of ten (10) µm or more accurate and shall have zero (0) variation in angular position error.
C.2.2.4 Capability for vertical sample movement that enables the study of thin layers less than ten (10) nanometers (nm) deposited on substrates that are up to one (1) mm thick.

C.3 Incident Beam Optics

C.3.1 The system shall include one (1) Copper (Cu) anode tube and one (1) Cobalt (Co) anode tube with a lifetime of at least five (5) years.
C.3.2 The system shall be able to change the tube focus mode between point to line and line to point.
C.3.3 High brightness and interchangeable optical components that secure beam collimation which includes no white radiation or K-beta line and a minimum direct beam intensity of 150,000,000 cps using just an x-ray mirror.
C.3.4 The system shall be able to range the incident x-ray beam from 0.05 mm to five (5) mm in length and two (2) mm to twenty (20) mm in width; the beam must be homogeneous even at a length of five (5) mm and a width of twenty (20) mm.
C.3.5 The system shall have four (4) bounce and two (2) bounce monochromators that secure monochromatic incident beam and limit the incident beam angular divergence to 0.003 degrees or less.

C.4 Diffracted Beam Optics
C.4.1 The system shall include a solid-state pixel detector that is position sensitive with a sharp point-spread function.
C.4.2 The system shall include detector measurement modes that are changeable with user interface including zero-dimensional (0D), one-dimensional (1D), 2D, and 3D options, and are both static and scanning.
C.4.3 The system shall have ninety-nine percent (99%) count rate linearity.
C.4.4 The system shall be able to range the diffracted beam acceptance window from two (2) degrees to 0.003 degrees or less in angular position, as needed for high resolution measurement mode.
C.4.5 The system shall have the ability to do reciprocal space mapping, reducing data collection time by a factor of ten (10).

C.5 Non-ambient measurement stage attachment
C.5.1 The stage attachment shall be compatible with temperatures that range from -190ºC to 900ºC.
C.5.2 The stage attachment shall use a domed stage to hold samples as large as twenty-five (25) mm in diameter.
C.5.3 The environment in the stage attachment shall range from atmosphere to ten to the power of negative one (10^-1) mbar.
C.5.4 The sample chamber of the stage attachment shall be fillable with Oxygen (O), Nitrogen (N), Argon (Ar), and air.
C.5.5 The stage attachment shall be compatible with a four-circle Goniometer and shall be able to incorporate XYZ translation.

C.6 Automatic Wafer Loader
C.6.1 The automatic wafer loader shall be fully automated, be able to load wafers from cassette-to-cassette, and be able to access one (1) or more cassettes holding wafer sizes that range from eight (8) inches or more in diameter, and as thick as two (2) inches or more.
C.6.2 The automatic wafer loader shall not produce damage to the surface of the wafer during transfer to the diffractometer.
C.6.3 The automatic wafer loader shall have a programmable sample alignment sequence to ensure the transferred wafer is centered with respect to the incident beam and attached to the holder, without introducing significant stress from vacuum hold that would otherwise alter XRD data.
C.6.4 The automatic wafer loader shall be able to be custom mounted into the wall to enable dual access in two (2) different classified cleanroom areas.

C.7 Calibration Samples
C.7.1 The system shall come with one (1) calibration sample for texture, one (1) calibration sample for reciprocal space mapping, one (1) calibration sample for residual stress, (1) calibration sample for IPXRD, and one (1) calibration sample for reflectivity measurements.

C.8 User Interface and Analytical Software
C.8.1 The system shall have a user interface that allows for the automation of experiments which can run on twenty-five (25) wafers utilizing the automatic wafer loading capability.
C.8.2 The system shall come with analytical software for all measurement modes and capabilities that the aforementioned diffractometer can perform.

C.8.3 The system shall come with comprehensive material database that is comparable to updated crystallography database versions for phase and compositional analysis of materials.

C.8.4 The analytical software shall be able to perform automatic and manual peak recognition, peak fitting and peak analysis.

C.8.5 The analytical software shall offer plotting in linear and logarithmic scales, as well as automatic and manual reciprocal lattice point center recognition, convert reciprocal lattice units to angles and automatically convert to d-spacing for reciprocal space maps.

C.8.6 The analytical software shall be able to perform full analysis of a reflectivity curve including critical angle, curve extinction rate, density, and sample thickness for reflectivity analysis.

C.8.7 The analytical software shall be able to perform data simulation that takes into account reflectivity, texture, and diffraction.

C.8.8 The analytical software shall enable exporting data as text and ascii file type conversion.

C.8.9 The analytical software shall be able to perform texture analysis and provide pole figures.

C.8.10 The analytical software shall include a one (1) year warranty that includes yearly upgrades to the current version of the software.

C.9 General Qualifications
The Contractor shall ensure that the XRD system meets the following qualifications:
C.9.1 The system shall meet current industry standard requirements for safety as regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Electrical Code (NEC) including the use of EMO (Emergency Off) panic buttons, shielding and interlocks for hazardous areas including high voltages, radiation, and moving parts.
C.9.2 The system shall have signage denoting the hazards present.
C.9.3 The Contactor shall provide one (1) spare parts kit consisting of, but not limited to, bulbs, filters, screws, fluids, gaskets, seals, fuses, clips, nuts, and O-rings.
C.9.4 The system shall come with two (2) complete sets of schematics including electrical diagrams, two (2) complete operating manuals written in English, and one (1) manual on clean room paper.
C.9.5 The system shall have shipping costs that include insurance and customs fees.
C.9.6 The Contractor shall ensure that the electrical components within the XRD system are based on voltages, frequency and currents commonly used in the United States of America that include 120, 208, 240, and 480 Volts.
C.9.7 The Contractor shall deliver and install the XRD system to the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Bldg. 102, Shipping and Receiving Warehouse, 2800 Powder Mill Road, Adelphi, MD.
C.9.8 The system shall have dimensions that fit into a box measuring six (6) feet wide by (8) feet deep by (7) feet high.
C.9.9 The Contractor shall prove to the Government that the XRD system is fully functional after the system has been installed.
C.9.10 The Contractor shall submit a post-installation acceptance test report to the Government outlining the results of the acceptance tests. The Government will approve the acceptance test report within one (1) week of receiving the results.
C.9.11 The Contractor shall conduct operator and maintenance training following the installation of the XRD system at the Government’s site. For training purposes, the Contractor shall travel to the ARL in Adelphi, Maryland, to provide operator and maintenance training for up to eight (8) participants.
C.9.12 The Contractor shall provide access to a technical support agent to answer questions regarding tool operation, hardware troubleshooting and basic photoresist process via telephone or email during normal business hours for the time zone of the contractor’s main base of operations for the duration of ownership by the Government.

C.10 One (1) Year Warranty
The day the Government approves the post-installation report, the Contractor shall provide a warranty on the XRD system for one (1) year that meets the following minimum requirements:
C.10.1 The warranty shall cover repairs or modifications if the XRD system is no longer functional.

C.10.2 The warranty shall cover labor and transportation costs including airfare, accommodation and per diems to and from ARL for the technical support individual when necessary.

C.10.3 The warranty shall guarantee a response time of two (2) business days or less from the time the Government calls or emails for a request for service.

C.10.4 The warranty shall cover all parts excluding consumable parts and materials.

C.11 Anti-terrorism Operational Security (ATOPSEC) Requirements
C.11.1 Access and general protection/security policy and procedures:
This standard language is for Contractor employees with an area of performance within Army controlled installation, facility, or area. Contractor and all associated sub-contractors employees shall provide all information required for background checks to meet installation access requirements to be accomplished by installation Provost Marshal Office, Director of Emergency Services or Security Office. Contractor workforce must comply with all personal identity verification requirements (FAR clause 52.204-9, Personal Identity Verification of Contractor Personnel) as directed by DOD, HQDA and/or local policy. In addition to the changes otherwise authorized by the changes clause of this contract, should the Force Protection Condition (FPCON) at any individual facility or installation change, the Government may require changes in contractor security matters or processes.

C.11.2 Access to a DoD facility or installation that do not require a CAC:
Contractor and all associated sub-contractors employees shall comply with adjudication standards and procedures using the National Crime Information Center Interstate Identification Index (NCIC-III) and Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) (Army Directive 2014-05/AR 190-13), applicable installation, facility and area commander installation/facility access and local security policies and procedures (provided by government representative), or, at OCONUS locations, in accordance with status of forces agreements and other theater regulations.

C.11.3 Army iWATCH Training:
For contractor employees with an area of performance within an Army controlled installation, facility or area. The contractor and all associated sub-contractors shall brief all employees on the local iWATCH program (training standards provided by the requiring activity ATO). This locally developed training will be used to inform employees of the types of behavior to watch for and instruct employees to report suspicious activity to the COR. This training shall be completed by the contractors on their first day of arrival for system installation.

C. Responses:

All interested parties should notify this office in writing, mail, fax, or e-mail within the posted date. Responses shall include:

(I) To what extent each of the specifications can be met.

(II) Include your type of business (i.e. commercial, academia), whether your organization is classified as a large or small business based on the 1,000 EMPLOYEES standard that accompanies NAICS code 334516. If a small business, you must also list any small disadvantaged status you hold [HUBZone, 8(a), Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), Women Owned Small Business (WOSB), Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB), etc.].

(III) Past experience/ performance through the description of completed projects.

(12) Responses to this sources sought are due no later than 9:00 AM eastern standard time on 25 August 2017. Submissions should be emailed to Rebecca Patterson,

Questions concerning this sources sought may be directed to Rebecca Patterson at or 301-394-5351. Please be advised that .zip and .exe files cannot be accepted.

(13) Place of Contract Performance: 2800 Powder Mill Road, Adelphi, MD 20783

(14) Estimated Delivery Timeframe or Period of Performance: Six (6) months after receipt of order (ARO).

Response Date:

Sol Number:


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