The proposed InGaAs nBn detectors can be employed in NASA IR imaging applications at 2.5 – 5.0 micron wavelengths, such as the following programs: Landsat's Thermal IR Sensor (TIRS) http://ldcm.gsfc.nasa.gov/index.html: Currently TIRS is employing Quantum Well Infrared Photodetectors (QWIPs) for detection in the long wavelength infrared (LWIR) region. These detectors operate at 43K. With significant reduction in the defect densities in Ga-free SLS as well as integrated in an nBn architecture to reduce factors contributing to the dark current such as surface leakage, Shockley Read Hall, the proposed structure will operate relatively at higher operating temperatures (>100K). Although the cut-off wavelength for the proposed structure is in the MWIR, the program will be expanded to cover 5-14 microns in Phase II. Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) http://clarreo.larc.nasa.gov/index.php: According to the Extend Pre-Phase A, one of CLARREO's goals is to test and evaluate IR instrument ranging between 5-50 microns, which can provide a test-bed platform for high performance detector technologies such as the propose Ga-free SLS nBn detectors. Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO), a joint NASA and ESA project under Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) http://opfm.jpl.nasa.gov/library: JEO concept includes a visible-IR spectrometer between 400-5200nm wavelength with HgCdTe arrays, which may require cooling to as low as 80K for reliable operation.
As the technology further matures the operability and yield gains will translate to significant reductions in cost and improved manufacturability of infrared imaging systems. The InGaAs nBn sensors will have reduced cooling requirements over other high performance infrared materials (such as HgCdTe and QWIPs) and, thus require fewer and lighter components for both military and commercial systems. The significant cost reduction associated with the InGaAs nBn based technology will generate new markets, currently inaccessible due to high price points, such as medical imaging, robotics, environmental and policing. Due to the nature of the Amethyst/FLIR partnership we fully anticipate that our rollout customer will be FLIR. However, to maximize the value of this program and Amethyst's intellectual property, Amethyst does not intend to grant an exclusive license to a single manufacturer. Amethyst has filed a number of patents relating to its photon-assisted and high pressure hydrogenation processes which will provide the basis for licensing negotiations with its customers.