NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 S2.05-9854
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Photon Detectors
PROPOSAL TITLE: Superconducting thin-film interconnects for cryogenic photon detector arrays

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Luxel Corporation
P.O. Box 1879
Friday Harbor, WA 98250-8040
(360)378-4137

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David A. Grove
david.grove@luxel.com
515 Tucker Ave.
Friday Harbor, WA 98250-8040
(360)378-4137

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Advanced imaging spectrometers for x-ray astronomy will require significant improvements in the high density interconnects between the detector arrays and the first stage electronics. These detectors operate at 50 to 100 mK, while the first stage is held between 1.3-1.5 K. Interconnects are needed that provide the required signal paths while imparting a thermal heat load on the detector stage of less than 0.5 microwatts. The innovation proposed to meet this need is a ribbon of ultra-thin polyimide supporting a high-density array of vacuum deposited superconducting traces. No such innovative high-density interconnects are available today. Phase I will test material properties of superconducting thin films fundamental to interconnect performance and prepare prototype devices that demonstrate the feasibility of this approach.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
A successful Phase I-Phase II outcome for NASA will be a new technology for the integration of cryogenic detectors with higher temperature electronics. Advanced detector technology has applications from sub-millimeter to gamma-ray energies. It is anticipated that a successful Phase I - Phase II outcome could supply interconnects to support missions such as Constellation X, The James Webb Space Telescope, the Single Aperture Far Infrared Observatory and the Cosmic Microwave Background Polarization Experiment.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Technologies for medical imaging, lithographic inspection, and the non-destructive evaluation of structural materials are increasingly adopting cryogenic detectors and microcalorimeters. These applications require signal interconnections across varied thermal environments. The proposed interconnects will find use in quality assurance instrumentation for electronics packaging, medical imaging such as NMR and MRI, NDE of aircraft lap joints, and in microcalorimeter spectrometers used with scanning electron microscopes for microanalysis of thin films and MEMs devices.