NASA SBIR 2012 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-1 S1.04-9230
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Detector Technologies for UV, X-Ray, Gamma-Ray and Cosmic-Ray Instruments
PROPOSAL TITLE: The First JFET-based Silicon Carbide Active Pixel Sensor UV Imager

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
United Silicon Carbide, Inc.
7 Deer Park Drive, Suite E
Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852 - 1921
(732) 355-0550

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Leonid Fursin
lfursin@unitedsic.com
7 Deer Park Drive, Suite E
Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852 - 1921
(732) 355-0550 Extension :107

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Scott Kelly
skelly@unitedsic.com
7 Deer Park Drive, Suite E
Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852 - 1921
(732) 355-0550 Extension :103

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Detector Technologies for UV, X-Ray, Gamma-Ray and Cosmic-Ray Instruments is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?
No

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Solar-blind ultraviolet (UV) imaging is critically important in the fields of space astronomy, national defense, and bio-chemistry. United Silicon Carbide, Inc. proposes to develop and commercialize a unique JFET-based monolithically-integrated radiation-tolerant solar blind active pixel sensor (APS) UV imager. Silicon carbide is the ideal materials system due to its negligible dark currents, excellent radiation tolerance, intrinsic insensitivity to visible and near IR light, and technological maturity. The Silicon carbide JFET is an ideal choice as an IC building block, as it is immune to the presence of stacking faults in wafer material and is free from possible threshold voltage drifting associated with the SiC MOSFET.
The proposed PiN and LJFET based APS circuitry has the potential for reliable operation at temperatures exceeding 150 C. The proposed design of the active pixel sensor can be adopted for detection of more energetic particles, such as EUV and soft-X-ray, by increasing the thickness of the active low doped layer. Such APS detector arrays could be custom designed, including pixel size and epilayer thickness, and would be of nearly UNIVERSAL USE in nuclear particle detection and spectroscopy.
While the active pixel sensor market is niche, applications in related Silicon Carbide LJFET based analog processes offering temperature operation above 200 C have tremendous value in the commercial, industrial & high temperature market space. LJFET IC building blocks such as voltage references, oscillators, comparators and regulators form the cell circuits for such products as PWM controllers, power transistor gate drivers, voltage regulators and amplifiers.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Future solar astronomy missions need UV- sensors that are "solar blind", i.e. insensitive at longer wavelengths where the solar radiation is orders of magnitude stronger and is frequently the limiting factor in photometric measurements in the UV- region. The high sensitivity of silicon CCDs and CMOS arrays in the visible and near infrared (IR) is a liability when employing these same arrays in the ultraviolet. As exemplified in the Hubble telescope instruments, long wavelength blocking filters exact a high price due to their low transmission in the ultraviolet. There are several identified missions where the detector arrays we have proposed here are ideally suited. These include: (1) NWO – New World Observer – a very large, two-spacecraft, coronagraphic telescope system to block out the light from a central star to see exoplanets. (Cash et al., 2009, Proc. SPIE 7436, 5. "The New Worlds Observer: the astrophysics strategic mission concept study") (2) THEIA – Telescope for Habitable Exoplanets and Interstellar/Intergalactic Astronomy (Sembach et al., 2010, AAS 21345801S. "A High Sensitivity Ultraviolet Spectrograph for the THEIA Mission") (3) as well as various Midsized Explorers (MidEx) and Small Explorer (SMEX) missions for UV spectroscopy and imaging.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The general design of the active pixel sensor can be adopted for detection of more energetic particles, such as EUV and soft-X-ray, and would be of nearly universal use in nuclear particle detection and spectroscopy.

For the aircraft surface-to-air and air-to-air missile warning systems, presently employed by DoD, a low cost solid-state solar blind array would also be of considerable interest.

Applications in related Silicon Carbide JFET based analog IC processes, offering temperature operation above 200oC, have tremendous value in the commercial, industrial & high temperature market space. A substantial host of industrial and under the hood automotive applications (about $31.2B analog market) such as factory automation, motor control, CNC machinery, EPS, BBW, would immediately be enabled with SiC JFET analog sub-circuits offering embedded power management & control functionality at higher temperatures.

An immediate commercial opportunity would be to develop a SiC LJFET-based half bridge gate driver to drive SiC transistors, co-packaged together in a multi leg power module to provide a high temperature integrated power train solution with a significant reduction in system cooling for industrial motors, UPS, solar farms and electric vehicle markets. USCi partnering with companies as Powerex, Vincotech, Dynex Semi would lead to breakthrough module powertrain solutions being developed and commercially available within 12 months of Phase III.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.)
Circuits (including ICs; for specific applications, see e.g., Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Control & Monitoring, Sensors)
Detectors (see also Sensors)
Image Capture (Stills/Motion)
Manufacturing Methods
Materials & Structures (including Optoelectronics)
Materials (Insulator, Semiconductor, Substrate)
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)


Form Generated on 03-28-13 15:21