Adaptive Quantum-Dot Photodetectors with Bias-Tunable Barriers

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9550-10-C-0103
Agency Tracking Number: F08B-T02-0181
Amount: $747,609.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: AF08-BT02
Solicitation Number: 2008.B
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 1702, 4240 Ridge Lea -- Suite 37, Amherst, NY, 14226-6108
DUNS: 029147928
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Darold Wobschall
 (716) 837-8719
Business Contact
 Darold Wobschall
Title: President
Phone: (716) 837-8719
Research Institution
 Mary Kraft
 2540 Dole Street
Hall 402
Honolulu, HI, 96822-
 (716) 645-2634
 Nonprofit college or university
Esensors, with SUNY at Buffalo and SUNY at Albany as a subcontractor, will simulate, fabricate, experimentally investigate, evaluate, and deliver aprototype of a new adaptive IR photodetector based on advanced quantum dot (QD) structures. The detector’s operating principle is based on a new concept of the photoelectron lifetime tunable via adjustable potential barriers in QD structures. The photoelectron kinetics and corresponding noise processes will be investigated in specially designed and fabricated QD structures with lateral and vertical transport, which is controlled by specific potential barriers created by charged QD rows, planes and clusters. Tuning the photocarrier lifetime by the bias and/or gate voltages will allow for new intriguing possibilities for adaptive sensing and imaging with optimal data acquisition via controllable interplay of basic parameters: operating time vs.sensitivity. The proposed detectors will have the advantages: (a) tunable photoelectron kinetics, which allows for adaptive operating regimes; (b) adjustable highly-selective coupling to electromagnetic radiation due to control of QD levels and their occupations; (c) high phoconductive gain and responsivity; (d) low generation-recombination noise; (e) high scalability of nanoblocks and numerous possibilities for nano-engineering; (f) high mobility of carriers and low dissipation; (g) technological compatibility with mainstream manufacturing. BENEFIT: The structured quantum dot detector provides an important fundamental building block to IR system developers offering increased sensitivity, lower noise at a competitive cost. The improvements in sensitivity/signal-to-noise are estimated by our research team to be better than 100 times better than product currently available at a comparable price. This advanced mid-IR detector will result in development of a new generation of high sensitivity IR detectors and imagers. Immediate applications exist in three market areas: scientific measurement, military surveillance and chemical-biological (includes medical).

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

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