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

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: HQ0147-12-C-7161
Agency Tracking Number: B2-1868
Amount: $999,999.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2012
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
 cottier@amethystresearch.com
Business Contact
 Todd Speaks
Title: Comptroller
Phone: (580) 226-2751
Email: accounts@amethystresearch.com
Research Institution
 Northeastern University*
 Katherine Ziemer
 360 Huntington Ave
342 Snell Engineering Center
Boston, MA, 02115-
 (617) 373-2990
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
In Phase I we demonstrated a novel in-situ cleaning technique based on UV-activated surface reactions involving ozone and hydrogen to remove organic adsorbates and chemically-bonded impurities, e.g oxides, from the substrate surface. In Phase II the program will develop this process to significantly decrease the density of material defects in large-format, infrared, focal-plane arrays. Electrically-active defects impact array performance by increasing noise levels up to catastrophic degradation. The focus of this project is the elimination of active defects formed during molecular-beam epitaxy (MBE) of HgCdTe (the active layer in the arrays) on alternative substrates, i.e. materials other than lattice-matched CdZnTe. A significant fraction of as-grown defects nucleate at surface sites related to impurities or artifacts associated with ineffectual substrate cleaning prior to MBE growth. This will be demonstrated on alternative substrates, including InSb, GaAs, Ge and Si wafers using advanced surface characterization techniques, as well as through evaluation of HgCdTe epilayers grown on buffered InSb and GaAs. In addition, HgCdTe-based devices fabricated using photolytically cleaned substrates will be compared to ones fabricated using standard cleaning techniques to demonstrate this process. This will achieve the overall objective of significantly improving operability by reducing defects and dislocations in large-format infrared detector materials.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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