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Superconducting Thin-Film Interconnects for Cryogenic Photon Detector Arrays

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2006 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Luxel Corporation
515 Tucker Avenue Friday Harbor, WA 98250-8040
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2006
Title: Superconducting Thin-Film Interconnects for Cryogenic Photon Detector Arrays
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNG06CA46C
Award Amount: $599,950.00


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.

Principal Investigator:

David A. Grove
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Pat Wittkopp
Business Official
Small Business Information at Submission:

Luxel Corporation
P.O. Box 1879 Friday Harbor, WA 98250

EIN/Tax ID: 911404974
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No