Development of a Novel Infrared Detector Based on Parametric Amplification

Period of Performance: 08/20/1997 - 08/20/1999

$750K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Aimm, Inc.
230 Haden Rd
Brownsboro, AL 35741
Principal Investigator

Research Topics

Abstract

A novel means to detect long wavelength infrared signals using parametric amplification is proposed. The new concept takes advantage of the large gains affordable with parametric amplifiers coupled with the superior uniformity and producibility characteristics of GaAs technologies. The detectors are expected to exhibit responsitivities in excess of 12 A/W with detectivities greater than 10(13). Research will be performed to develop this concept into working detector arrays. The responsitivity and noise of the detectors will be tested as a function of the physical dimensions and properties of the semiconductor materials chosen. The applicability of this concept to other wavelengths will be explored. In addition, the final detector design will be specifically tailored for use in an existing LIDAR missile sensor system. This LIDAR system currently required high speed, optically coherent detectors at 10.6 micrograms. This research will provide a cost-effective, viable means for producing these kinds of detectors for the first time.