NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 03- II S2.06-9393
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Photon Detectors
PROPOSAL TITLE: Uncooled Radiation Hard Large Area SiC X-ray and EUV Detectors and 2D Arrays

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Leonid Fursin
100 Jersey Ave. Building A
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-3200
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: No

This project seeks to design, fabricate, characterize and commercialize large area, uncooled and radiative hard 4H-SiC EUV ? soft X-ray detectors capable of ultra low noise photon counting. The detector design and advanced processing technologies combined with the unique material property of 4H-SiC are expected to lead to orders of magnitude 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 solid state EUV-soft X-ray detector technologies. In Phase II, detectors and 2D arrays will be designed and fabricated. Eight batches will be fabricated with different detector sizes and different active abs thicknesses. Concentration will be focused on achieving very low dark current and high quantum efficiency based on a novel design. The fabricated detectors and 2D arrays 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 the privately funded Phase III which will be concentrating on pushing up the yield over 3" wafer for commercialization within one year after the completion of Phase II.

The detectors and 2D arrays will find many non-NASA applications including X-ray medical instruments and scientific instruments as well as nondestructive testing, security systems, X-ray astronomy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray lithography, OEM, environmental monitoring, toxic dump site monitoring, process control, material analysis. Other applications in the wider UV spectra range include 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.

Success of this project will result in uncooled, radiation hard, large area EUV-soft X-ray detectors and 2D arrays capable of photon counting capability, low noise, visible blind, high quantum efficiency and long lifetime. They will find NASA applications in many areas including X-ray fluorescence for planetary orbital missions, Galilean satellites of Jupiter, Einstein satellite and various space missions, Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) and detecting and imaging very weak UV florescence light