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Ardmore, OK, United States

Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.99K | Year: 2014

This program will develop an ultra-high performance infrared detector manufacturing technology with improved performance and cost effectiveness, and reduced cooling requirements when compared to the best commercially available HgCdTe and InGaAs detectors. This will be accomplished using a two-pronged approach addressing both device design and materials. First, the conventional pn photodiode device is replaced with a new device structure, the nBn detector, which inherently suppresses performance-limiting dark currents, such as those produced by surface leakage. Second, highly manufacturable III-V materials are used, which are further enhanced with Amethyst's proprietary UV hydrogenation defect mitigation process. The result is a low cost, high performance detectors operating in the 2 – 5 micron wavelength region. There is a pressing need for ultra-high sensitivity detectors operating in this region for the detection of trace gases and chemicals. In Phase I Amethyst produced a 2.8 micron cutoff detector. The program met all objectives, demonstrating considerable improvements in performance over conventional pn diodes using the nBn and hydrogenation approach. In Phase II, Amethyst will design, fabricate and test high performance detectors individually optimized with cutoff wavelengths throughout 2–5 micron wavelength range. These detectors will have improved detectivity, and significantly reduced cooling requirements compared to currently available commercial detectors. In addition, Amethyst will deliver a thermoelectrically cooled 3.3 micron wavelength cutoff detector to JPL's Microdevices Laboratory for comparative testing and to assist in development of methane detector systems. The overall objective of the Phase II is to establish performance metrics, manufacturing process, characterize and life test single element devices. These efforts will help establish a US based manufacturing source of these ultra-high performance detectors.

Agency: Department of Commerce | Branch: National Institute of Standards and Technology | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2015

methyst Research Inc. will design, fabricate and test a high uniformity, large area, low noise infrared trap-detector detector for the 1- 4.5 μm wavelength range. This state of the art detector will have a large area (e.g., 1-1.8 cm diameter active area) with a spatial variability of internal quantum efficiency of less than 0.1 % between 1 μm and 4.5 μm. In addition, the internal quantum efficiency of the detectors (i.e., the device efficiency after taking into account the radiation loss due to front-surface reflection) will be close to unity. The Phase I effort will consist of a proof-of-principle demonstration of large area, high-uniformity photodiodes that operate at 1 to 3 μm wavelengths.

The invention is directed to ion implantation. Ion implantation is a process whereby energetic ions are used to uniformly irradiate the surface of a materialtypically a semiconductor wafer. Either atomic or molecular ions are created in an ion source and then extracted for analysis (e.g. by magnetic separation) to ensure the purity of the ion beam. Post-analysis acceleration and scanning of the beam is done prior to sample irradiation. Each dopant-type acts, in general, to increase the conductivity of the silicon.

Amethyst Research Inc. | Date: 2011-06-08

An apparatus and method for hydrogenating a sample, such as a semiconductor wafer. The invention utilizes a top electrode comprising a UV-transparent dielectric and a metal contact to provide an electric field to the sample while the sample is irradiated with UV light and hydrogenated with a hydrogenating gas or gasses. The field may be applied to the sample at a number of different pressures, temperatures and concentrations of gas to manipulate the rate and type of hydrogenation. Further, the method of hydrogenating the sample may be used in conjunction with masking and etching techniques.

Agency: Department of Commerce | Branch: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 94.99K | Year: 2015

Methane, is the third most prevalent greenhouse gas whose atmosphere concentration is currently over 1.7 ppm. Methane is about 21 times more potent when compared to CO2. Even though its concentration in the atmosphere is more than 200 times lower than carbon dioxide, methane is responsible for 20% of the greenhouse effect. The main natural resources for methane include wetlands, termites and the oceans. Natural sources create 36% of methane emissions. The main anthropogenic sources come from landfills, livestock farming, and in the production, transportation and use of fossil fuels accounting for 64% of the total. While the quantitative monitoring of methane levels is necessary, it is also critically important to directly identify the sources of methane, for example, such as leaks in pipelines, and also from drilling/fracking and other human activities. In this NOAA SBIR program, Amethyst Research proposes to develop a relatively inexpensive methane gas imaging camera that can be used for direct observation of methane gas/emissions. This camera will be high sensitivity, low power, low cost and light so it can be integrated onto UAV’s platforms and hand held systems.

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