Low Light Level Silicon-Germanium Nano-BiCMOS Infrared Camera

Period of Performance: 05/13/2009 - 11/13/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

B & W Tek, Inc.
#19 Shea WaySuite 301
Newark, DE 19713
Principal Investigator


Low light level infrared imaging has significant importance in military surveillance and target recognition. The proposed broadband low-light-level nano-BiCMOS camera covers visible and near infrared bands from 400 nm to 1,550 nm wavelengths. With a proven nano-technology, the proposed nano-BiCMOS photo-detector solves this long-standing tradeoff between quantum efficiency and dark current by in-pixel amplification to boost external quantum efficiency and photo current signal by 1,000x (target 6,000x). The resulting infrared camera will achieve approximately 100% amplified external quantum efficiency even at 1,550 nm. The camera shall operate at as fast as 1,000 frames/second with >=1 Mega pixel resolution. The entire semiconductor-based camera will enjoy 20-year lifetime, fieldable ruggedness, light weight and small size of a consumer camcorder. In Phase I we will prove the feasibility of germanium layer on silicon sensitive to 1,550 nm infrared with low dark current. In Phase II we will develop and prototype a complete Si-Ge nano-BiCMOS camera system, which will be delivered to DoD Labs for evaluation and demonstration. During Phase III, we will manufacture and market the proposed camera to defense contractors for incorporation into military systems and for our own Raman spectroscopy products.