Advanced Infrared (IR) Sensor Components for Missile Defense

Period of Performance: 09/29/2006 - 03/23/2007

$100K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Millennium Engineering & Integration CO.
2231 Crystal Drive, Suite 711
Arlington, VA 22202
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
PO Box 2008 MS6085
Oak Ridge, TN 37831
Institution POC

Abstract

Millennium Engineering and Integration Company and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have teamed to propose development of an entirely new type of infrared detector that has the potential for providing significantly higher Long Wave Infrared (LWIR) detectivity for detector temperatures in the 180-300K temperature range than is presently available. This new detector exploits means of enhancing field emission from Carbon nanotubes, thereby enabling modulation of the field emission current by electrons excited in the Carbon nanotubes by absorption of IR thermal energy. This arrangement results in a thermal detector that has some characteristics of a photovoltaic detector because the rate at which electrons are emitted from the CCNTs is proportional to incident photon flux. Based upon this innovative new concept, we hope to achieve significant performance advantages over currently available thermoelectrically cooled or stabilized LWIR detectors.