The work proposed is to develop optoelectronic hardware that is enabled by the nascent Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Silicon Carbide (SiC). The integration of electronics and UV photodiodes enhances detection capability. The applications are as follows: Spectroscopy: EUV, VUV, and Deep UV; UV Imaging that is blind to visible; and High Temperature electronics. We both design and fabricate our integrated optoelectronics in-house in the U.S. We will be offering fabrication facilities for NASA to prototype new SiC application specific circuits, which could meet many of the needs for SiC circuit fabrication. The results of the proposed R&D on integrated EUV, VUV, deep UV detectors and imagers should be helpful in numerous NASA endeavors especially those in: Heliophysics, Planetary and Earth science, as well as monitoring ozone and atmospheric gases, and could find substantial application in hyperspectral sensing. The Jupiter-Europa Orbiter is expected to have sensing requirements in the 70 to 330nm region, which could utilize the integrated optoelectonics produced by the proposed program. This multi-band capability may find application in numerous NASA programs including the: Large UV/Visible/IR Surveyor Mission; Exoplanet Direct Imaging Mission; Living with a Star: Geospace Dynamics Constellation; Explorer Missions; Small and Light payload systems like CubeSats, and the Venus Mission since our SiC based sensors and electronics are expected to withstand temperatures as high as 500C.
There are numerous Non-NASA commercial applications to the SiC based Deep UV integrated technology that we are developing, with significant market value. These applications include: -Water and Air Purification: Our detectors operate in the region used to kill harmful bacteria and viruses to ensure UV filtration of drinking water is operating properly. -Oil and Gas Logging: High temperature hostile environment used with a scintillator for gamma ray detection to characterize shale formation. -Geo Thermal Energy: High temperature environment used to explore rock information. -Military - Missile Detection: Rocket plumes for early warning systems that will not get confused by visible light since our UV detectors are mainly transparent to wavelengths greater than 400nm. -Food Contamination: Many contaminants can emit in the deep UV after excitation thus exposing possible pathogens and contaminants. -Non Line of Sight Communication since UV is diffusive so it will move around obstacles, and can be modulated to transmit information beyond obstructions. -Fire Detection: Most fires emit IR and deep UV; detectors that can sense both are safer to use. -Semiconductor Instrumentation and Advanced Spectrometers: Semiconductor lithography typically uses 193nm in fabrication, UV sensors can help guide this process. -High Temperature Electronics: Monitoring automobile exhaust, jet and rocket engines, furnaces and ovens.