The Use of Hydrogen for Defect Reduction in Large Format Infrared Detector Materials

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: HQ0147-11-C-7672
Agency Tracking Number: B11A-002-0015
Amount: $149,842.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: MDA11-T002
Solicitation Number: 2011.A
Small Business Information
Amethyst Research Incorporated
123 Case Circle, Ardmore, OK, -
DUNS: 159048698
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Ryan Cottier
 Research Scientist
 (580) 229-7109
Business Contact
 Todd Speaks
Title: Comptroller
Phone: (580) 226-2751
Research Institution
 Northeastern University
 Katherine Ziemer
 360 Huntington Ave
342 Snell Engineering Center
Boston, MA, 02115-
 (617) 373-2990
 Nonprofit college or university
Active defects negatively impact the performance of IRFPAs by increasing noise at various levels up to, and including, catastrophic degradation. Evidence indicates that"killer defects"are related to the interaction of open core screw dislocations with impurities that remain after substrate preparation, prior to HgCdTe growth. This impurity diffusion creates a conducting channel that shorts the junction. The effectiveness of atomic hydrogen for low-temperature cleaning, overlayer removal and stoichiometry recovery for etched semiconductor surfaces has been demonstrated. We will extend this to CdZnTe and Ge substrates and demonstrate cleaning of HgCdTe after process etch steps. Additionally ARI has demonstrated a method for introducing hydrogen into the FPA epilayer during processing. The hydrogen migrates into the HgCdTe and attaches to dislocations and yield-limiting defects, effectively passivating the defect with improvement in both operability and yield. We will use ARI"s process to develop a practical method introducing hydrogen cleaning into HgCdTe processing to produce clean, stoichiometric surfaces prior to growth and passivation while providing hydrogen passivation to mitigate the effect of remaining defects. This will achieve the overall objective of significantly improving operability by reducing defects and dislocations in large format infrared detector materials while also hydrogenating to improve operability.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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