02-214B Gallium Nitride UV Detector Array with Micro-discharge Amplification.

Period of Performance: 08/26/2002 - 03/03/2003

$70K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Ewing Technology Assoc., Inc.
5416 143rd Ave SE
Bellevue, WA 98006
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
600 S Mathews
Urbana, IL 61801
Institution POC

Abstract

This STTR Phase I effort will develop a Gallium Nitride avalanche photodiode detector array. The detector array will be sensitive in the UV, but will use a photoelectron avalanche mechanism that is applicable to detectors working at other wavelengths. As such the core technology can be readily extended to shorter UV wavelengths with the substitution of a different semi-conductor photo-sensitive electrode, such as SiC. The core technology can also be readily extended to IR wavelengths, again by the substitution of photo-sensitive electrode. The universal wavelength avalanche mechanism is a micro-discharge. These novel discharges feature small dimensions, of order 50microns, and high operating pressure. Our team has shown arrays of up to 900 micro-discharge elements in a few square mm with a silicon electrode. This work will extend the effort to UV sensitive photo-electrodes. Phase I will demonstrate the effect with a UV sensitive electrode. The research will lead to a broad range of very simple, amplifiying photo-detector arrays. The long term result will be sensitive detectors and inexpensive development and fabrication. The detectors can be used in hyper spectral imaging, remote sensing and machine vision.