Completion of this SBIR will enable Type II SLS technology to serve as a platform for the next generation of high performance and large format infrared FPAs. This will be a longer-wavelength evolution of the on going SLS technology being developed at JPL. This SLS technology potentially offers a unified platform for high-performance 5-14?m detection wavelengths. Current and future substrate size scaling will support large format infrared imaging NASA needs with high sensitivity and high operating temperature sensors for space-based applications. As a band-gap engineered device, the spectral response for SLS can also be custom tailored to suit NASA or customer specialty needs. FPA processing is simplified with near identical fabrication in the same III-V compound semiconductor fab line as developed in shorter wavelength 5?m detetction range.
With the success of this SBIR to develop longer wavelength, large format Type II SLS technology, both the military and commercial markets stand to benefit greatly. The SLS technology offers the opportunity to realize very high sensitivity thermal imager operating at higher operating temperature from mid wave to long wavelength, and to very long wavelength infrared based on readily available GaSb substrates. With GaSb material system, very large format FPA will be possible. Currently, 4" diameter substrate is already available. 5" diameter substrate is in a prototype stage and will be in place to support very large format needs. The current effort can piggy back on the III-V semiconductor industry for rapid product ramp up. For the military, this opens the door for more vehicles/platforms to be outfitted with these high performance cameras. Commercial business such as environmental or gas sensing can benefit from very competitive eventual cost structure.