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The First JFET-based Silicon Carbide Active Pixel Sensor UV Imager, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Solar-blind ultraviolet (UV) imaging is critically important in the fields of space astronomy, national defense, and bio-chemistry. United Silicon Carbide, Inc. proposes to develop and commercialize a unique JFET-based monolithically-integrated radiation-tolerant solar blind active pixel sensor (APS) UV imager. Silicon carbide is the ideal materials system due to its negligible dark currents, excellent radiation tolerance, intrinsic insensitivity to visible and near IR light, and technological maturity. The Silicon carbide JFET is an ideal choice as an IC building block, as it is immune to the presence of stacking faults in wafer material and is free from possible threshold voltage drifting associated with the SiC MOSFET. The proposed PiN and LJFET based APS circuitry has the potential for reliable operation at temperatures exceeding 150 C. The proposed design of the active pixel sensor can be adopted for detection of more energetic particles, such as EUV and soft-X-ray, by increasing the thickness of the active low doped layer. Such APS detector arrays could be custom designed, including pixel size and epilayer thickness, and would be of nearly UNIVERSAL USE in nuclear particle detection and spectroscopy. While the active pixel sensor market is niche, applications in related Silicon Carbide LJFET based analog processes offering temperature operation above 200 C have tremendous value in the commercial, industrial & high temperature market space. LJFET IC building blocks such as voltage references, oscillators, comparators and regulators form the cell circuits for such products as PWM controllers, power transistor gate drivers, voltage regulators and amplifiers. More »

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