NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-S1.06-7982 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 035025)
SUBTOPIC TITLE:UV and EUV Optics and Detectors
PROPOSAL TITLE:Highly Stable, Large Format EUV Imager

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Voxtel, Inc
614 SW 11th Avenue
Portland ,OR 97205 - 2644
(503) 243 - 4633

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
George   Williams
614 SW 11th Avenue
Portland ,OR  97205 -2644
(503) 243 - 4633
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

Higher detection efficiency and better radiation tolerance imagers are needed for the next generation of EUV instruments. Previously, CCD technology has demonstrated EUV instability as well as degraded performance in radiation environments. Fortunately, CMOS imager technology has evolved to the stage that it is now feasible to fabricate multi-pixel arrays of diodes that can be absolutely calibrated and that are robust against radiation damage. CMOS sensors are less susceptible to radiation damage of the type that would disable entire regions of a CCD sensor. Nevertheless, the technology requires improved radiation tolerance. There currently does not exist a high performance, rad hard, EUV CMOS sensor.

To address these needs, Voxtel Inc. proposes to optimize the design of a radiation-hard, SOI CMOS back-illuminated EUV sensor with enhanced sensitivity and stable operation. The innovation?s reduced optical cross section (app. 500nm) increases the imager?s resolution, reduces radiation effects, and reduces the operating voltages required for silicon depletion. The ultra thin charge collection region is achieved through a novel, back-thinning method that offers superior manufacturability, stability, and reliability while maintaining compatibility with mainstream semiconductor fabrication processes. The low capacitance of SOI combined with our ultra-low noise amplifier design achieves previously unobtainable EUV imaging capabilities.

EUV imagers are used to study the structure of the Earth's plasmasphere and its dynamic response to changes in the level of magnetospheric activity during geomagnetic storms and magnetospheric substorms, as well studies for general Solar Research, Aeronomy, Auroral Physics, Sodium-
Dayglow measures, Diffuse Far UV Backgrournd, EUV Spectroscopy of Astronomic Objects, Plasma Physics, Study of Helium Geocorona, and Galactic X-ray Astronomy.

Unique to this proposed device is the APS imagers?s radiation tolerance and its capability for wideband sensitivity from the EUV through to the NIR spectral range. These characteristics make it ideal for the growing market for commercial satellite star trackers. Additionally, the nearly ideal responsivity benefits a broad range of optical microscopy, spectroscopy, nondestructive test, machine vision, surveillance, autonomous navigation, remote sensing, and astronomy applications. The EUV response of the detector benefits submicron photolithography, x-ray spectroscopy, plasma diagnostics, and nuclear physics.