Albuquerque, NM, United States
Albuquerque, NM, United States
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Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.79K | Year: 2015

With this project, Skinfrared LLC in conjunction with Duke University, aims to develop a reconfigurable hyperspectral imaging system. Hyperspectral imaging systems (HSI) are important for determining the chemical composition of heterogeneous substances of a given scene. They have many applications in both military and civilian ranging from gas and terrain identification to food inspection. Current systems tend to be slow, large, expensive and difficult to configure for different applications. Our proposal is to utilize the tunable properties of metamaterials in conjunction with a sparse detector array and a compressive sensing algorithm to overcome these limitations. Phase I of the proposed effort will consist of making a detailed design of the proposed system. This will consist of an assessment of current HSI systems, an design the complete system, an evaluation of tradeoffs of the system components and performances, developing a risk reduction plan, and creating physical mockup of the proposed system. The subcontractor, Duke University, will design and model the tunable spatial light modulator. For the Phase I option, test elements of the SLM will be fabricated and tested.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.89K | Year: 2011

In the proposed effort, SK Infrared LLC (SKI), a spin-off from the Krishna INfrared Detector (KIND) laboratory at the University of New Mexico (www.chtm.unm.edu/kind), in collaboration with Raytheon Vision Systems (RVS) and Intelligent Epitaxy Inc (Intelliepi) is proposing a systematic study with the following two objectives. (a) Optimization of the epitaxial growth parameters to reduce dark current noise, decrease growth defects, improve uniformity and increase device reliability and reproducibility (in collaboration with Intelliepi) (b) Explore novel detector architecture that leverages the bandgap engineering flexibility of the superlattice absorber combined with the barrier engineering capability of the 6.1 semiconductor family and integrate them into FPAs (in collaboration with RVS) As a part of this effort, the advances made in the improving the epitaxial growth procedure will be transitioned to Intelliepi and advances in the heterostructure design and FPA fabrication will be transitioned to RVS. The KIND lab has recently purchased a $1.35M Veeco Gen-10 MBE reactor with Sb and As valved cracker source capable of highly uniform growth on 3-inch wafers. SKI will have access to this reactor through the user facility at the Center for High Technology Materials (CHTM). In particular, we will explore a double-unipolar barrier design called PbIbN. The double-barrier heterostructure design (PbIbN) belongs to the family of band gap engineered SLS architectures, such as nBn , M-structure , W-structure , and complementary barrier infrared detector (CBIRD) . The improved performance of these SLS devices over the homojunction SLS detectors is credited to reduction in dark current by use of current blocking layers either in conduction or valence bands which reduce one or several dark current components. The PbIbN design further reduces noise in SLS-based detectors, since it contains wider bandgap potential barriers in both valence and conduction bands. In PbIbN detector design, the electron blocking (EB) layer sandwiched between P contact layer and absorber region blocks the minority carrier diffusion (electrons) current from P contact layer into the absorber region. Similarly the hole blocking (HB) layer blocks minority carrier diffusion (holes) current from N contact layer into the absorber region. Moreover, the electric field drop across the active region is small as compared to a conventional PIN design since there is significant amount of field drop across the EB and HB layers, which have a wider band gap compared to the absorber region. This reduction in electric field leads to very small depletion region and hence reduction in the Schockley-Read-Hall (SRH) generation-recombination component of dark current. The tunneling currents are also reduced due to significant reduction in field drop. Thus the device can be made diffusion limited over wide range of operating temperatures, thereby improving the performance of the device.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.89K | Year: 2011

In the proposed effort, SK Infrared LLC, a spin-off from the Krishna INfrared Detector (KIND) laboratory at the University of New Mexico (www.chtm.unm.edu/kind), in collaboration with Raytheon Vision Systems (RVS) is proposing to develop a dual band based imager using a novel unipolar heterostructure design with Type II InAs/GaSb strained layer superlattice detectors. The dual bands that are chosen for this application are midwave infrared (MWIR, 3-5 & #61549;m) and the long wave infrared (LWIR, 8-14 & #61549;m). However, these devices can be designed for different wavelength bands to suit the application needs of the customer. The dual band detectors will be developed using a novel double unipolar barrier design called"PbIbN". The advantage of the 6.1 family of semiconductors (InAs, GaSb and AlSb) is that it provides the device designer tremendous flexibility to control the valence band and conduction band offsets between the absorber and the barrier layers. The PbIbN device that will be investigated as a part of this proposal utilizes an electron barrier at the PI interface and a hole barrier at the IN interface. The unipolar barriers prevent the diffusion of minority carriers from either side of the absorber. Moreover, since the field drop is lower across the absorber region, the generation-recombination (GR) and tunneling currents are also reduced. The goal of the Phase I effort will be to demonstrate a single pixel PbIbN detector with dual band (MWIR/LWIR) operation with temporally simultaneous and spatially collocated detection. The Phase I option effort will transition this to an 8x8 array bonded to a fanout to determine the uniformity and reproducibility of the back-side illuminated devices. The Phase II effort will involve the demonstration of a 512x512 focal plane array in collaboration with RVS and their insertion into the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS).


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.88K | Year: 2012

ABSTRACT: In this proposal, SK Infrared LLC (SKI), a spin off from the Krishna Infrared Detector (KIND) laboratory at the University of New Mexico, is teaming up with Raytheon Vision System (RVS) to develop a flat top broadband high operating temperature mid wave infrared and long wave infrared detector based on InAs/GaSb/AlSb Type II superlattice detectors using unipolar barriers to decrease the dark current. At the end of Phase I, a hardware single pixel detector covering the MWIR and LWIR will be delivered to the Air Force to evaluate the performance for the required mission. The Phase II will focus on the demonstration of a liner array using a ROIC developed in collaboration with RVS. SKI and RVS have an established working relationship including three SBIR Phase I and are currently being considered for 2 SBIR Phase II awards. BENEFIT: The superlattices have emerged as a disruptive technology in the past five years. Broadband higher operating temperature detectors provide additional functionality for surveillance, space situational awareness and reconnaissance missions. The partner on this proposal, Raytheon Vision Systems (RVS) has significant experience in technology development for next generation of large format focal plane arrays (IRFPA) to develop the best solution for ballistic missile intercept systems such as SM-3 (IIA and future upgrades). These new IRFPAs are designed to provide improved system capabilities such as enhanced imaging for target discrimination, signature recognition, countermeasure, and clutter rejection. Integrated dual-band IRFPAs offer separate spectral sensitivity to two different IR wavelengths within each pixel. This effort can therefore provide risk reduction to current HgCdTe FPA approaches and be seamlessly inserted into future RVS IR & D demonstration activities. Most importantly, the results of this work can be directly communicated to Government customers including Raytheon Missile Systems (RMS) to facilitate technology insertion possibilities.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: SMALL BUSINESS PHASE I | Award Amount: 149.95K | Year: 2013

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I Project proposes to develop a novel non-invasive diagnostic imaging tool for the early detection of skin cancer. In this project, a controlled temperature stimulus is applied to the suspected lesion and the thermal recovery process is captured with an Advanced Longwave Infrared-imaging and Analysis System (ALIAS) capable of measuring temperature differences < 0.02°C. The underlying hypothesis of this approach is that the dynamic temperature response of malignant cells will be different from that of the surrounding normal skin cells due to heat generation caused by abnormal processes such as cell proliferation and thermal diffusion, increased metabolism and excess blood flow. The Phase I effort will involve a pilot study to develop a quantifiable metric to capture the differences in the temperature curves and investigate whether malignant lesions such as Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) and Malignant Melanoma (MM) can be distinguished from benign lesions using this metric.

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project would be a dramatic reduction in savings to the US health care industry. For millions of people who observe a suspicious lesion on their skin, the only options available today in the dermatology clinic are either a subjective visual test or an invasive biopsy. Since doctors perform biopsies on any clinically atypical lesions to minimize risk, the ratio of benign lesions biopsied to confirmed melanomas is 80 to 1. There is a need for a real-time, non-invasive, pain-free technology that can bridge this gap. The proposed approach is based on a fundamental quantity associated with cancer growth, namely heat generation. Currently, we spend $10.8B/year on skin cancer biopsies in the US along with a project increase of 14% increase annually. If this approach is successful and the number of biopsies can be decreased by a factor of two, it would represent a $5.4B savings to the US health care industry. The NSF SBIR funding will provide a critical bridge funding that will enable the reduction of technological risk to solicit commercial venture capitalist funding.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.99K | Year: 2013

In this Phase II effort, SK Infrared LLC, is collaborating with Raytheon Vision Systems (RVS) to demonstrate a dual color 512x512 30 um pitch long wave/long wave (LW/LW) pBp focal plane array (FPA) hybridized to a RVS SB410 Read Out Integrated Circuit (ROIC). The SB410 is a 512x512 30 micron pitch dual band ROIC developed by RVS. The final deliverable at the end of the two year project would be a dual color (LWIR & #61548;1~8.5 & #61549;m and LWIR & #61548;2~10.5 & #61549;m) 512x512 FPA with dark current density ~1e-6 A/cm2 and QE=70% at operating bias (~100 mV). The design, growth and fabrication of the device till the indium bump deposition will be done at SK Infrared LLC (SKI) using the user facilities at the Center for High Technology Materials at the University of New Mexico. The devices will be hybridized and radiometrically characterized at Raytheon Vision Systems (RVS).


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 78.21K | Year: 2010

SK Infrared LLC, a spin-off from the Krishna INfrared Detector (KIND) laboratory at the UNM (www.chtm.unm.edu/kind) is proposing to develop a dual band SLS based imager using an nBn based heterostructure design in collaboration with Raytheon Vision Systems (letter attached). The proposed effort leverages the technical expertise and facilities of only one of the two university laboratories in the world that has demonstrated "Epi to Camera" research. The Krishna group has a successful track record in the design, growth, fabrication and characterization of SLS FPAs. UNM has agreed to let SK Infrared LLC use the facilities at CHTM (letter attached) for this effort. This will include access to a brand-new VEECO Gen-10 MBE reactor. The Krishna group has demonstrated the first SLS based nBn single pixel detector and 320x256 focal plane arrays with an NETD=24mK. Moreover, by engineering the bandgaps of the absorber on either side of the barrier, the Krishna group has demonstrated a dual band nBn detector. Prof. Krishna also has close ties with DoD agencies such as Army Night Vision Laboratory and is a part of the user group that provides feedback to FLIR for the new dual polarity ROIC as a part of MDA''S FastFPA program


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.25M | Year: 2014

ABSTRACT: The objective of the overall SBIR program is to develop a high performance mid-format (512 x 512, with 30 micron pitch) broad-band mid-wave (MW, 5 micron cut-off wavelength at 200K) infrared (IR) focal plane arrays (FPAs) using InAs/GaSb strained layer superlattices (SLS). SKINfrared LLC (SKI), a spin-off from the Krishna Infrared Detector (KIND) Nanostructures laboratory at the University of New Mexico (www.chtm.unm.edu/kind) will team up with Raytheon Vision Systems (RVS) to deliver a MWIR FPA to Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) for the evaluation at the end of the two year project. BENEFIT: InAs/GaSb SLS have emerged as a disruptive technology in the past five years. Broadband higher operating temperature detectors provide additional functionality for surveillance, space situational awareness and reconnaissance missions. The partner on this proposal, RVS has significant experience in technology development for next generation of large format infrared focal plane arrays (IRFPA) to develop the best solution for ballistic missile intercept systems such as SM-3 (IIA and future upgrades). These new IRFPAs are designed to provide improved system capabilities such as enhanced imaging for target discrimination, signature recognition, countermeasure, and clutter rejection. This effort can therefore provide risk reduction to current HgCdTe FPA approaches and be seamlessly inserted into future RVS IR&D demonstration activities. Most importantly, the results of this work can be directly communicated to AFRL customers to facilitate technology insertion possibilities. During the proposed Phase II effort RVS is therefore in a position to accurately assess and quantify the performance of the SKI MWIR 512x512 pBiBn FPAs against the benchmark of existing SM-3 performance requirements and incumbent HgCdTe large-format MWIR FPA technology that is currently being developed at RVS.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 738.74K | Year: 2016

The objective of the overall STTR program is to develop a high performance mid-format dual band long wave infrared (IR) focal plane array (FPA) using p-type InAs/(In)GaSb strained layer superlattices (SLS). The project consists of three primary research thrusts including (1) improvement of quantum efficiency, (2) optimized sidewall passivation, and (3) focal plane array fabrication and testing. (Approved for Public Release 15-MDA-8482 (17November 15))


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.95K | Year: 2013

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I Project proposes to develop a novel non-invasive diagnostic imaging tool for the early detection of skin cancer. In this project, a controlled temperature stimulus is applied to the suspected lesion and the thermal recovery process is captured with an Advanced Longwave Infrared-imaging and Analysis System (ALIAS) capable of measuring temperature differences<0.02°C. The underlying hypothesis of this approach is that the dynamic temperature response of malignant cells will be different from that of the surrounding normal skin cells due to heat generation caused by abnormal processes such as cell proliferation and thermal diffusion, increased metabolism andexcess blood flow. The Phase I effort will involve a pilot study to develop a quantifiable metric to capture the differences in the temperature curves and investigate whether malignant lesions such as Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) and Malignant Melanoma (MM) can be distinguished from benign lesions using this metric. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project would be a dramatic reduction in savings to the US health care industry. For millions of people who observe a suspicious lesion on their skin, the only options available today in the dermatology clinic are either a subjective visual test or an invasive biopsy. Since doctors perform biopsies on any clinically atypical lesions to minimize risk, the ratio of benign lesions biopsied to confirmed melanomas is 80 to 1. There is a need for a real-time, non-invasive, pain-free technology that can bridge this gap. The proposed approach is based on a fundamental quantity associated with cancer growth, namely heat generation. Currently, we spend $10.8B/year on skin cancer biopsies in the US along with a project increase of 14% increase annually. If this approach is successful and the number of biopsies can be decreased by a factor of two, it would represent a $5.4B savings to the US health care industry. The NSF SBIR funding will provide a critical bridge funding that will enable the reduction of technological risk to solicit commercial venture capitalist funding.

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