NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 S1.05-9717
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Detector Technologies for UV, X-Ray, Gamma-Ray and Cosmic-Ray Instruments
PROPOSAL TITLE: Highly Efficient FUV Photodetector with AlGaN Nanowire Photocathode

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Physical Optics Corporation
20600 Gramercy Place, Bldg. 100
Torrance, CA 90501 - 1821
(310) 320-3088

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Paul Shnitser
20600 Gramercy Place, Bldg. 100
Torrance, CA 90501 - 1821
(310) 320-3088

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
To address the NASA GSFC need for significant improvements in wide bandgap materials and detectors for UV applications, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop a new Silicon Microchannel Plate solar-blind photodetector with an AlGaN nanowire photocathode fabricated directly on the MCP entrance plane (NW-Si-MCP). This innovative photocathode and the technology of its growth on the Si microchannel plate enables us to meet NASA requirements for high quantum efficiency, low noise, radiation-hard, reliable, and potentially low cost solar-blind photodetectors. The large size and high number of microchannels offers superior spectral and spatial resolution for future NASA space instruments involved in the investigation of the origin of Universe, planet finding, and understanding Sun-Earth interactions while simultaneously improving the sensitivity of new instruments and avoiding an expensive increase of their cost due to optical system size. In Phase I, POC will demonstrate the feasibility of fabrication of AlGaN nanowire photocathodes for NW-Si-MCP detectors by fabricating the photocathode samples and demonstrating their quantum efficiency in the spectral range from 100 nm to 200 nm (TRL level 4). In Phase II, POC plans to develop a fully functional NW-Si-MCP prototype and demonstrate its long-term operation in harsh conditions (TRL level 6).

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed highly efficient, large area UV photodetector will directly contribute to the success of future NASA missions planned within several research programs, such as the Explorers, Discovery, Origins, Beyond Einstein, and Vision Missions. Current and future missions that will rely on this technology include HST-STIS, GALEX, COS, EUVE, XMM-OM, CHIPS, and FAUST.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed nanowire photocathode technology will find a variety of commercial and military applications. We expect that besides missile plume detection, our NW-Si-MCPs will be used in scientific instrumentation for the investigation of fluorescence in organic and inorganic substances. We also expect that with other types of photocathodes deposited directly on the front surface of POC's MCP, the photodetectors developed will be successfully used in a broad range of applications, such as night vision, underwater vision and communications, and atmospheric research.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Large Antennas and Telescopes
Optical & Photonic Materials
Semi-Conductors/Solid State Device Materials

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56