NASA SBIR 2020-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary


PROPOSAL NUMBER:
 20-1- S1.05-6061
SUBTOPIC TITLE:
 Detector Technologies for UV, X-Ray, Gamma-Ray Instruments
PROPOSAL TITLE:
 Novel, Deep-UV APDs for Atomic Clocks and Space Observation
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Adroit Materials
2054 Kildaire Farm Rd., Suite 205
Cary, NC 27518
(919) 515-8637

Principal Investigator (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Name:
Dr. Ronny Kirste
E-mail:
ronny@adroitmatrials.com
Address:
2054 Kildaire Farm Rd., Suite 205 Cary, NC 27518 - 6614
Phone:
(919) 515-8637

Business Official (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Name:
Dr. Zlatko Sitar
E-mail:
zlatko@adroitmaterials.com
Address:
2054 Kildaire Farm Rd., Suite 205 Cary, NC 27518 - 6614
Phone:
(919) 515-8637
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 2
End: 4
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

The target of this project is to develop a compact and efficient avalanche photodiode (APD) based on Al-rich AlGaN to replace currently used photomultiplier tubes in atomic clocks. The advance over existing approaches is the implementation of single crystal AlN as substrates, which practically eliminates leakage induced by threading dislocations as seen in AlGaN films grown on traditionally employed foreign substrates, such as sapphire and SiC. This enables unprecedented high gain and low noise for the UV detectors. We aim to demonstrate sensitivity over the whole deep-UV range (120 – 200 nm) while being solar and visible blind. We will provide single APDs as well as detector arrays with varying pixel resolution and pixel size. The devices will exhibit very high efficiency (> 40%) and dynamic range with sub-100 V operation. The feasibility of Geiger mode operation and photon counting will also be studied. In addition, we aim to demonstrate high linear gain and avalanche operation by relying on hign probability of electron and low probability of hole ionization for Al molar fractions exceeding 80%. When implemented into Hg-based atomic clocks, as developed for the deep space atomic clocks program, the novel APDs can lead to a significant improvement of the stability and lifetime, while at the same time reduce the volume and constraints of the accompanying electronic circuitry.

Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

We will develop solar blind avalanche photodiodes with sensitivity in the deep-UV to replace currently-used photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) in atomic clocks being developed for the deep space program. These new detectors will be smaller, more stable, lighter, and have longer lifetime than PMTs. The novel detector will also be arranged in large 2D arrays, which will enable application for space observation such as proposed in LUVOIR, for plume detection, and for bio-chem detection applications.

Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

The novel detector will find application in the military, research, and commercial sector for example in bio-chem detections system, for spectroscopy applications, non-line-of-sight communication, solar blind fire detection, and nuclear detection.

Duration: 6

Form Generated on 06/29/2020 20:58:16