NASA SBIR 01-II Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: S4.06-8926 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 013073 )
PROPOSAL TITLE: Surface Enhanced Silicon Avalanche Photodiodes for Near-IR Detection

This Phase II SBIR builds on the exciting results demonstrated during the Phase I research. Using a new approach for enhancing the near-infrared (IR) sensitivity of high gain avalanche photodiodes (APDs), Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. (RMD) will develop a reliable procedure to produce APD arrays with high sensitivity at 1064 nm. This work utilizes an innovative technique to microtexture the front surface of the APD using high power, ultra-short laser pulses (100 femto-seconds). The laser processed silicon surface exhibits remarkably high absorption characteristics over a large range of wavelengths (0.4 - 3 microns). Phase I work established that this processing technique provides an enhancement in the photo-induced charge collection at near-IR wavelengths. We have further demonstrated APD responsivity > 350 A/W at 1064 nm. Evidence of silicon bandgap transformations makes this remarkable innovation extremely promising for present detector technology needs.
The ultimate goal of this project is to use laser microtexturing technology to develop a high speed, high gain, low noise APD array sensor module with significantly improved near-IR response. The APD array sensor will be an extremely valuable tool for long distance optical communication and for LIDAR/LADAR applications.

The proposed technology will have numerous important commercial applications, such as imaging altimeters, LIDAR systems, near-IR spectroscopy, free-space optical communication, optical mammography and tomography, tissue oxygenation studies and many other applications. A successful program could potentially revolutionize any field that is presently limited by the lack of sensitive detection at 1064 nm, where robust and compact transmission technology is readily available.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Arieh M. Karger
Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt Street
Watertown , MA   02472 - 4699

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt Street
Watertown , MA   02472 - 4699

Form Printed on 05-09-02 16:37