NASA 1998 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 98-1 16.01-1190A

PROJECT TITLE: Adaptation of Membrane Isolated STJs for Arrays of X-Ray Detectors with Enhanced Energy Resolution

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

Superconducting X-ray detectors offer the potential for improved performance over detectors that are now commercially available. HYPRES proposes to design superconducting detectors that realize this improved performance, including energy resolution. HYPRES will exploit its ability to produce ultra-high quality Nb STJ's to relax temperature constraints for X-ray detection. This goal will be met using micromachining techniques to reduce phonon losses, NbN leads to enhance trapping efficiency, and, ultimately, optimized SQUID-based electronics to maximize readout quality. HYPRES has already established the feasibility of producing high-quality STJs on micromachined SiN membranes. Junction performance was measured as a function of temperature and compared well to BCS theory. The Phase I work plan calls for calibration of these STJs as X-ray detectors. NbN leads will be added and, in Phase II, the HYPRES SQUID array amplifier will be modified and integrated on the chip.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

Under this program HYPRES will become a commercial source of cost-effective, reliable high-energy resolution monolithic X-ray detectors for soft X-rays. These sensors are in demand at synchrotron sources, for X-ray astronomy, and for elemental compositional analysis. Detection of controlled X-rays can yield important diagnostic scientific information. This project will produce an X-ray detector with an enhanced performance/cost ratio, suitable for application for NASA projects, as well as in the microelectronics fabrication and metallurgy industries.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Dr. Darren K. Brock
HYPRES, Inc.
175 Clearbrook Rd.
Elmsford , NY 10523-1101

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR

HYPRES, Inc.
175 Clearbrook Road
Elmsford , NY 10523-1109