Novel Infrared Photon Detector

Period of Performance: 04/05/1999 - 04/05/2001


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Environmental Engineering Group, Inc.
11020 Solway School Rd, Suite 109
Knoxville, TN 37931
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


The purpose of this project is the development and construction of a new kind of photon detectors based on the photo-induced stress in semiconductor microcantilevers. In Phase I we performed studies on the photo-induced stress for various semiconductor materials as a function of a number of parameters such as microcantilever geometry (length, width, thickness), input radiant power, and modulation frequency of input radiant power. Our results have demonstrated that microcantilever photon detectors can be used to detect IR radiation based on the photo-induced stress caused by the photo-generation of carriers in the semiconductor. With Phase II funding EEG will develop a prototype suitable for field use. The proposed IR photon detector has the following benefits compared to other IR detects: (I) no cryogenic cooling, (ii) fast response times, (iii) high sensitivity, (iv) no need for thermal isolation, and (v) low cost due to established monolithic IC fabrication compatibility.