NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-S2.06-9393 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 033612)
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Advanced Photon Detectors
PROPOSAL TITLE:Uncooled Radiation Hard SiC Schottky VUV Detectors Capable of Single Photon Sensing

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
UNITED SILICON CARBIDE, INC.
100 Jersey Ave., Building A
New Brunswick ,NJ 08901 - 3200
(732) 565 - 9500

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
George    Lin
uscglin@unitedsic.com
100 Jersey Ave., Building A
New Brunswick ,NJ  08901 -3200
(732) 565 - 9500
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
This project seeks to design, fabricate, characterize and commercialize very large area, uncooled and radiative hard 4H-SiC VUV detectors capable of near single photon sensing. The detector design and advanced processing technologies combined with the unique material property of 4H-SiC are expected to lead to significant improvements to the performance of large area solid state detectors including much lower noise due to the wide bandgap and substantially improved lifetime due to the greatly increased radiation tolerance in comparison to state-of-the-art based on Si UV technologies. In Phase I, detectors with optical window up to 1cmx1cm will be designed and fabricated. Two batches will be fabricated with different semitransparent metal thicknesses. Concentration will be focused on achieving very low dark current and high quantum efficiency. The fabricated detectors with different optical window sizes will be characterized, including dark current, forward current ideality factor, quantum efficiency. The dominant source and mechanism of the dark current will be investigated to help identify approaches to further reduce the dark current in Phase II which will be concentrating on pushing up the quantum efficiency over a wider spectrum range, further reducing the dark currents, and characterizing reliability and lifetime.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Success of this project will result in uncooled radiation hard very large area VUV detectors of near single photon sensing capability, low noise, visible blind, high quantum efficiency and long lifetime. They will find NASA applications in many areas including the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) and detecting and imaging very weak UV florescence light, for example, the low Earth orbit UV light generated by giant airshowers by ultra-high energy cosmic rays.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The uncooled, low noise and very large area VUV detectors will find many non-NASA applications because the detectors are capable of near single photon sensing, visible blind, high quantum efficiency and long lifetime. The immediate applications including: biological warfare agent detection based on bioluminescent analysis and detection of single molecule emitting in the UV range, biosensing, single molecule detection, utility power line inspection, missile detection, and radar as well as basic quantum mechanics investigation.