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Advanced III-V avalanche photodiode structures in the infrared


OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Microelectronics The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. OBJECTIVE: Design and implement III-V based linear-mode infrared avalanche photodiodes suitable for ranging imagery. DESCRIPTION: Active imaging systems all require the detection of reflected light, usually through an active source such as a laser. Additionally, commonly fielded single-point range finding technologies lack the capability to ensure that the range for the object of interest is being interrogated rather than an adjacent object in the scene. In this effort, we seek to develop III-V linear mode avalanche photodiodes which are capable of linear gain and short response times to enable detection and ranging of man-sized objects. Approaches compatible with leveraging large substrates and existing mature commercial foundry services are highly preferred. PHASE I: Design and model III-V APD detector structures compatible with GaSb or GaAs substrates and capable of linear gains with short response times in the infrared. Determine growth process that includes any experimental parametric variations for fabrication. Proposers intending to grow initial test structures and perform preliminary characterization in Phase I will be rated favorably. Develop experimental plan for achieving anticipate Phase II program goals. PHASE II: Execute growth, characterization, and fabrication plans developed during the Phase I program. Deliver growth recipe to commercial growth foundry and determine efficacy of growth via wafer level characterization as necessary. Fabricate test chips or large area devices suitable for cryogenic testing and measure sensor dark current, spectral characteristics, and quantum efficiency. Characterize gain of device as function of applied bias and show gain-normalized dark current levels. Characterize minimum detectable pulse energy using test structures or mini-arrays. By the conclusion of the Phase II program, deliver a test report and test structures to the Army for characterization of pulse detection. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Continue to mature the technologies developed in Phase II for potential dual-use applications that require ranging. Continue incremental improvement of detector structures and increase array format to sizes suitable for imaging. Investigate options for ROIC integration. REFERENCES: 1. Tan, Chee Leong, and Hooman Mohseni. "Emerging technologies for high performance infrared detectors." Nanophotonics 7.1 (2018): 169-197. 2. Shrestha, Ajay, and Ausif Mahmood. "Review of deep learning algorithms and architectures." IEEE access 7 (2019): 53040-53065. 3. Gach, Jean-Luc. "Photon counting in the infrared with e-APD devices." High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy VIII. Vol. 10709. SPIE, 2018. KEYWORDS: avalanche photodiode (APD), pulse detection, infrared, III-V material
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