NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-E1.01-8905 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 034100)
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Passive Optics
PROPOSAL TITLE:Ultraviolet AlGaN-based Avalanche Photo Diode Grown over Single Crystal Bulk AlN Substrates

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
SENSOR ELECTRONIC TECHNOLOGY, INC
1195 Atlas Road
Columbia ,SC 29209 - 2531
(803) 647 - 9757

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Yuriy   Bilenko
bilenko@s-et.com
1195 Atlas Road
Columbia ,SC  29209 -2531
(803) 647 - 9757
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Premature breakdown is a key obstacle in developing AlGaN-based avalanche photo diodes (APD) for ultraviolet (UV) light detection. Novel materials growth techniques, such as Hydride Vapor Phase Epitaxy (HVPE) allows for reduction of dislocation density only to approximately 10^7 cm-2. In order to reduce the number of growth defects and dislocation density in AlGaN-based APDs we will use single crystal bulk AlN substrates. We recently demonstrated that the use of a bulk AlN substrate allows us to reduce the dislocation density in the epitaxial AlN layers by more than four orders of magnitude down to 10^4-10^5 cm-2. The reduction of dislocation density below 10^4 cm-2 would enable us to fabricate up to 100 ?m diameter devices in dislocation-free areas of the wafers. Hence, we expect that AlGaN-based APDs on bulk AlN substrates will exhibit major improvements in the breakdown voltages required for stable performance of the devices.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The predicted commercial AlGaN UV APD market will have two elements:
(i) Displacement of photomultiplier tubes (PMTs)
(ii) New applications, which were not possible with PMTs.
There is a significant potential for NASA Commercial Application in displacement of PMT and low-sensitive Si PD in remote Earth monitoring UV sensors, flame control sensors and space radiation sensors, including single photon counting mode..

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
There is a large commercial application of UV APD in flame sensing.This application is related to the sensing of pilot flame in gas-based air and water heating systems in both commercial buildings and residential housing sector. Implementation of alarm systems for pilot flame failure would reduce risks of gas leakage and heating system damage, especially during winter period.