Low Light Short Wave Infrared Focal Plane Arrays

Period of Performance: 12/17/2015 - 12/16/2017


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Voxtel, Inc.
15985 NW Schendel Ave. Suite 200
Beaverton, OR 97006
Principal Investigator


Current focal plane array (FPA) technologies for imaging in low-light conditions in the short wave infrared (SWIR) are limited by poor quantum efficiency and/or poor noise characteristics. To address this need, a new SWIR-sensitive linear-mode avalanche photodiode detector array, will be optimized for low-light imaging, fabricated, and demonstrated. Unlike existing SWIR avalanche photodiodes (APDs), the new ultra-low-dark-current APD will employ a design that suppresses thermal dark current by a factor of 2000. When hybridized to a low-noise capacitive transimpedance amplifier (CTIA) readout integrated circuit (ROIC), low signal levels are detectable. In Phase I, wafers containing PIN diodes integrating the low dark current InGaAs absorber will be manufactured, and tested. Select diodes will be packaged and characterized. In the Phase I option, the best absorption layer designs will be integrated with two alternative ultra-low excess noise multiplication layer APDs. Single-element APDs and arrays will be fabricated from the wafers and characterized for dark current, gain, capacitance, and excess noise factor as a function of reverse bias. Their performance when coupled to low-noise ROICS will be determined. (Approved for Public Release 15-MDA-8482 (17 November 15))