Active Pixel HgCdTe Detectors With Built-in Dark Current Reduction for Near-Room Temperature Operation

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNL06AA12C
Agency Tracking Number: 040299
Amount: $599,767.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: S1.03
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
590 Territorial Dr., Bolingbrook, IL, 60440-4881
DUNS: 068568558
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Silviu Velicu
 Principal Investigator
 (630) 771-0201
Business Contact
 Sivalingam Sivananthan
Title: President
Phone: (630) 771-0206
Research Institution
High sensitivity HgCdTe infrared arrays operating at 77K can now be tailored in a wide range of wavelengths from 1 to 14 microns. However, due to the cooling requirements, they consume large amounts of power and are bulky and unsuitable for many NASA applications. During Phase I, we demonstrated the feasibility of employing dark current skimming to increase the operating temperature of HgCdTe mid-wavelength infrared devices to temperature regimes attainable by thermoelectric (TE) cooling. This work will be applied to two-color detectors and 320 ? 256 focal plane arrays during the proposed Phase II effort, leading to the next generation of HgCdTe infrared focal plane arrays. Multicolor detection will involve only an incremental development of the current skimming employed in Phase I. The resistor used in Phase I for skimming will be replaced with a photovoltaic detector that will have two functions: first, it will allow skimming by collecting part of the current flowing through the main detectors, and second, it will act as an independent detector for a second color. By employing a non-equilibrium mode of operation for the same detector, the majority and minority carrier densities will be greatly reduced. This will suppress Auger recombination processes in the active layers, and lead to dramatic increases in recombination lifetimes, dynamic impedances and detectivities. The proposed effort will exploit the excellent optoelectronic properties of bandgap tunable HgCdTe, the recent advances in the heteroepitaxial growth of this material by the flexible MBE manufacturing technique and innovative concepts such as dynamic dark current skimming and Auger suppression.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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