NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Advanced Photon Detectors
PROPOSAL TITLE:Superconducting Thin-Film Interconnects for Cryogenic Photon Detector Arrays

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, 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
P.O. Box 3355
Friday Harbor, WA  98250 -8040
(360) 317 - 6380

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Next generation astrophysical observatories need improvements in readout electronics and associated high density interconnects. In particular, 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 and 1.5 K. Interconnects are needed that provide the required signal paths while imparting a total thermal heat load on the detector stage of less than 0.5 microwatts. The innovation proposed to meet this need is an ultra-thin polyimide membrane supporting a high-density array of vacuum-deposited superconducting traces. During Phase I, 100-trace Niobium arrays were deposited on ultra-thin polyimide films. The critical current density (Jc) averaged 2.1 x 106 A/cm2, exceeding Phase I goals and demonstrating the feasibility of the innovation. This result suggests that interconnects with 1000 traces are feasible within specified heat load limits and the goal of Phase II will be to produce such interconnects for both NASA and commercial applications. The proposed interconnects greatly broaden the thermal budget/signal capacity envelope for low-temperature detector applications by combining existing lithographic technology with Luxel's state-of-the-art thin film processes and mission tested polyimide.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
For NASA, a successful Phase II will result in the availability of 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, but the proposed technology is particularly suited to x-ray microcalorimetry

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Low temperature detectors and the systems in which they are used impact astrophysics, neutrino physics, dark-matter detection, materials science, condensed matter physics, and atomic and plasma physics and beamline instrumentation. Technologies for medical imaging, lithographic inspection, and the non-destructive evaluation of structural materials are increasingly adopting cryogenic detectors and microcalorimeters. The proposed interconnects will find use in quality assurance instrumentation for electronics packaging, medical imaging such as magnetoencephalography, non-destructive inspection of concealed structural lap joints, and in microcalorimeter spectrometers used with scanning electron microscopes for microanalysis of thin films and MEMs devices.

Form Printed on 08-01-05 13:52