Hole-Initiated-Avalanche, Linear-Mode, Single-Photon-Sensitive Avalanche Photodetector with Reduced Excess Noise and Low Dark Count Rate

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX11CF20P
Agency Tracking Number: 104881
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: O1.04
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Voxtel, Inc.
15985 NW Schendel Avenue, Suite 200, Beaverton, OR, 97006-6703
DUNS: 124348652
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Andrew Huntington
 Principal Investigator
 (971) 223-5646
 andrewh@voxtel-inc.com
Business Contact
 Debra Ozuna
Title: Business Official
Phone: (971) 223-5646
Email: debrao@voxtel-inc.com
Research Institution
 Stub
Abstract
A radiation hard, single photon sensitive InGaAs avalanche photodiode (APD) receiver technology will be demonstrated useful for long range space based optical telecommunications in the spectral range from 1000 to 1600 nm. The innovation is based on a linear mode (lm) single photon sensitive APD technology for which avalanche gain as high as M = 8000 has been demonstrated. Single photon detection efficiency (PDE) up to 80% has been demonstrated at 1064 nm, as well as maximum count rates in excess of 300 MHz. In the proposed effort, the dark count rate of these detectors will be reduced to the order of kHz while preserving PDE and maximum count rate. Detector dark current will be lowered by two orders of magnitude through implementation of the APD design using aluminum-free alloys with 100x lower trap density than the current design. In Phase I, a series of single element detectors of varying diameter, as well as small sized arrays, will be fabricated from the new aluminum-free material, and the corresponding decrease in dark count rate will be measured. In Phase II, radiation and lifetime testing will be repeated for the aluminum-free design, and large-area segmented detectors will be coupled to readout integrated circuits and demonstrated.Voxtel anticipates that its technology will enter the program at TRL=4, finish Phase I at TRL=5, and exit the Phase II program at TRL=6.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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