NASA SBIR 02-1 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:02- S4.01-7704 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 024295 )
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Science Instruments for Conducting Solar System Exploration
PROPOSAL TITLE: Vertical Interconnects for 3D CMOS Imager

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
NanoSciences Corporation/NanoSystems Inc
115 Hurley Road, Building #1B
Oxford , CT   06478 - 1037
(203 ) 267 - 4440

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Charles P. Beetz
115 Hurley Road, Building #1B
Oxford , CT   06478 - 1037
(203 ) 267 - 4440

NanoSciences proposes to develop a vertical interconnect structure base on a novel high rate through wafer micromachining process for application to a novel massively parallel high-performance smart 3D CMOS imaging technology under development at JPL. The smart imager will exhibit ultra high contrast handling capacity and high speed readout for defense and reconnaissance applications with special emphasis on anti-blinding, fast tracking, and high speed object identification and acquisition. Large format 2D focal plane arrays have been built in both CCD and CMOS technology although imaging performance continues to improve, it comes at the cost of reduced dynamic range, reduced speed, and increased power dissipation. Reduced speed is of particular concern for space based tracking, reconnaissance and robotic applications, that require faster than real-time imaging for high-speed closed loop control systems. The above-mentioned problems can be solved by processing data closer to the imager sense elements employing vertically interconnected structures. Vertical stacking solves the problem of interconnectivity leading to the development of smart focal planes without sacrificing imaging performance. The development of a reliable vertical interconnection presents a significant technical challenge, if successful, it will revolutionize new imager architectures and circuits, enabling smart imager development.

Commercial applications of the vertical interconnection technology include generic interface chips for integrating CMOS circuitry to MEMS based sensor technology. Such applications include; precision mounts for MEMS based inertial sensors that will enable direct orthogonal mounting of sensors, compact 3D-integrated millimeter wave circuits for military and civilian telecommunications applications as well as novel vertical readout structures for staring focal plane array detectors, fluidic components for chemical analysis, medical diagnostic equipment and inkjet printheads.

NASA applications of the vertical interconnect technology include a massively parallel high-performance smart 3D CMOS imaging technology under development at JPL, generic interconnection technology for vertical space conserving interfaces between CMOS circuitry and MEMS based sensor technology used for example in inertial guidance navigation systems, integrating micromachined instrumentation to control and communication electronics. The proposed vertical interconnect will enable space conserving interfaces critical for space missions.

Form Printed on 09-05-02 10:10