SBIR Phase I:Multi-wavelength Infrared thermal Detectors and Imagers
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will develop a new infrared (IR) radiation sensor technology, which will allow the development of a new class of low-cost multi-wavelength thermal detectors which are also sensitive to light polarization. This technology will allow radiation detection from the near-IR to long-wave IR, a capability that is absent in competing detectors. Amorphous silicon and vanadium dioxide has been the dominant materials used for infrared light detection since the 1980s. The disadvantages of such detectors are: 1) insensitivity to the spectral content and polarization of the incident radiation, 2) difficulty in further miniaturization of the sensing pixels. This project will use a combination of nanomaterial and amorphous silicon layers as a new type of infrared sensing layer which can be integrated into silicon thermal detectors and is expected to overcome these limitations. This project will demonstrate: 1) Fabrication and integration of the new radiation sensing layers to create a series of thermal detectors; 2) Enhanced light absorption and spectral sensitivity at multiple IR wavelengths; 3) Size reduction of the sensing pixel to 10 microns; and 4) polarization sensitivity for incident light at 3 micron wavelengths.
The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is the development of uncooled multi-color thermal detectors which are inexpensive and feature spectral and polarization sensitivity. These devices have the potential to displace expensive photon-based semiconductor IR detectors in many applications. The proposed technology will allow production of multi-color detectors on a single silicon wafer as well as sensing pixel miniaturization that will tremendously impact the fabrication cost, imaging resolution and device size. Successful commercialization of this thermal detection technology will substantially impact the field of low cost IR detection and imaging in applications such as fire detection, public health, environmental monitoring, space missions, industrial process monitoring, and security and military areas.
Small Business Information at Submission:
11601 REGENCY DR Potomac, MD 20854
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