Synthetic Combinatory Bendable Substrates (CyCoBs) for Ultra-lightweight, Structurally Embedded Infrared (IR) Camera

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: W31P4Q-08-C-0061
Agency Tracking Number: 07SB2-0054
Amount: $99,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: SB072-004
Solicitation Number: 2007.2
Small Business Information
488 Ridgefield Rd, Shelburne, VT, 05482
DUNS: 145965310
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 George Powch
 President + CEO
 (802) 985-4009
Business Contact
 George Powch
Title: President + CEO
Phone: (802) 985-4009
Research Institution
This SBIR effort will show feasibility of very thin, lightweight, integrated FPAs on a novel, flexible substrate which can double as the IR transmissive window and be readily transferred onto curved or conformal surfaces, or structural elements of a Micro-Air Vehicle (MAV). Versatilis will build and demonstrate a simple such (2x2) IR detector array using a ternary lead salt (PbCdSe) from BAE Systems. The technology will enable very lightweight IR cameras ~10g for MAVs for long endurance and higher power payloads (>90 mW-hr). Versatilis has developed a synthetic crystalline substrate material which can be used in such applications, branded “Versulite,” combined with a process for growing heteroepitaxial single crystal thin films atop it. Versulite is an extremely rugged, stable insulating material, fully transparent to visible and SWIR-NIR with a very high melting point (>>1000°C) compatible with Silicon processes, and lattice constants close to Silicon for epitaxy. A lamellar crystal, it can be cleaved into easily transferable, thin, flexible sheets. Package weight should result in an order of magnitude reduction in weight for the FPAs from ~25-50 g (current state-of-the-art). Adoption of such a compliant, flexible, substrate material can ultimately allow for fully integrated FPAs with much of the ROIC circuitry built onto the detector substrate itself, eliminating a whole series of interconnect issues, and decreasing mass and cost while increasing inherent reliability, with broad application in military and commercial applications. Silicon epitaxy on Versulite, in particular, can be an intriguing SOI technology for applications well beyond IR detectors, enabling integrated, flexible electronics for a variety of other applications.

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

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