NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 E1.06-8105
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Passive Infrared - Submillimeter
PROPOSAL TITLE: AlInGaN-Based Superlattice Terahertz Source

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
WaveBand Corporation
17152 Armstrong Ave
Irvine, CA 92614-5718
(949)253-4019

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Vladimir Litvinov
vlitvinov@waveband.com
17152 Armstrong Ave
Irvine, CA 92614-5718
(949)253-4019

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
WaveBand Corporation in collaboration with Virginia Commonwealth University proposes to design and fabricate a new sub-millimeter source based on an InAlGaN superlattice (SL). Semiconductor SLs have proven their ability to deliver high-frequency current oscillations caused by specific electron dynamics in a narrow miniband. For this project, WaveBand proposes to demonstrate SLs based on one of the GaN-family materials that deliver high temperature and high power operation superior to those provided by conventional III-V materials based on GaAs and InAs alloys. The idea of Bloch oscillators has been around for a while, yet actual example has not been demonstrated. The reason is that dc-current instability prevents oscillations at high frequency. The innovation of the proposed work is that we plan to use short-period SLs with complex miniband electron energy dispersion that suppresses the dc-instability and allows electrons to oscillate at multiples of the fundamental Bloch frequency. MBE-growth of short-period SLs will be performed using formation of spontaneous superlattices from an immiscible composition.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Proposed source may serve as a compact local oscillator in a heterodyne receiver integrated system.
The innovation will benefit measurements testing the Earth's atmosphere: climate and meteorological parameters, including water vapor, clouds, aerosols; air pollution; and chemical constituents such as ozone and carbon monoxide. The device will be responsive to NASA needs for Advanced Communication Technologies for Near-Earth Missions where wide bandgap III-Nitride devices are sought for high-power high-efficiency solid state power amplifiers and integration of electronic devices with optoelectronic components on III-Nitride templates.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Solid-state terahertz-range sources are urgently needed in various applications including sensors for detection and analysis of hazardous chemical and biological agents, and sub-millimeter wave imaging systems for concealed weapons detection and spectroscopy,