NASA SBIR 2012 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-2 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)
Matthew O'Grady
7 Deer Park Drive, Suite E
Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852 - 1921
(732) 355-0550 Extension :315

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

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

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?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Solar-blind ultraviolet (UV) imaging is needed in the fields of astronomy, national defense, and bio-chemistry. United Silicon Carbide, Inc. proposes to develop a monolithic, solar-blind UV image sensor with 320 x 256 pixels on a 25 micron pitch with a frame rate of 50 frames per second and pixel fill factor over 80%. A silicon carbide (SiC) integrated circuit technology that is compatible with production in commercial silicon fabs will be used to fabricate the sensors. SiC is an ideal choice because of 1) its material properties that lead to high UV quantum efficiency while being inherently insensitive to visible and near IR light, negligible dark current up to high temperatures, and excellent radiation tolerance and 2) technological maturity demonstrated by commercially available 4-inch wafers and previous demonstrations of SiC integrated circuits by NASA, United Silicon Carbide Inc. and others. Monolithic integration improves sensor reliability and performance over hybrid approaches and the manufacturability of the n-channel JFET fabrication process provides a clear path to commercializing the technology.

In addition to producing monolithic solar-blind UV sensors, the underlying SiC integrated circuit technology being developed has numerous harsh environment analog sensing and electronics applications.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
UV solar-blind imaging is required for scientific study of the sun and its influence on the earth. In this application, the high performance of existing silicon CMOS and CCD sensors in the visible and near infrared is a detriment as it forces the use of long wavelength blocking filters that also attenuate in the UV. The wide bandgap of SiC sensors make them inherently insensitive to wavelengths longer than the UV.

UV imaging and spectroscopy is also useful for in-situ detection of trace amounts of organic and other materials on planetary missions. (R. Bharita et al, Deep UV Native Fluorescene and Resonance Raman Imaging Spectroscopy for In-situ Organic Detection.)

NASA related applications for the SiC IC technology include high temperature electronics for aircraft engine control and electronics for the exploration of Venus.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The UV solar-blind sensors developed in this program would be directly applicable to important defense applications such as missile warning systems. Electromagnetic storm prediction using solar-blind UV sensors has considerable commercial value due to the modern reliance on electrical distribution. Furthermore, the underlying SiC integrated circuit fabrication technology has applications in high temperature electronics for geothermal and oil & gas down-hole well logging, aircraft and automotive engine control, industrial machine control, and control of power electronics systems.

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)
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)

Form Generated on 03-04-14 13:38