We propose to design and fabricate, SiC intrinsically visible-blind, 10μm pitch, small-pixel-size UV and EUV detectors and active pixels. We also plan to design monolithic Geiger mode avalanche photodetectors, which can replace large and expensive multiplier tubes. These devices and optoelectronic integrated circuits have immediate applications in high-resolution imagers, and sensor and spectroscopy instrument components. Such components are usable for missions such as the successors to the Solar Orbiter, missions of the Living with a Star program, and other solar and terrestrial probes such as DYNAMIC and MEDICI, as well as in future instruments such as JEM-EUSO and OWL ultra-high energy cosmic ray instruments. The work described here also represents significant steps forward in SiC technology in general, and in monolithic integration of SiC sensors with their readout circuitry in particular. Low-power, high-sensitivity, extreme-environment-capable sensor technology is facilitated as SiC technology matures, with significant implications for the fabrication of low-weight, robust, efficient payloads, meeting the needs of future programs such as GEO-CAPE, the next-generation GOES and SOHO, and planetary science missions. The design and fabrication performed totally in the United States, and in close proximity to the NASA GSFC, which will be able to take advantage of CoolCAD's capability to fabricate application specific optoelectronic integrated circuits.
One of the largest extant markets for UV detection is sanitation and water filtration. UV water purification systems are in increasingly wide use. The target wavelength is 260nm, which denatures bacteria proteins. Such systems, which currently have a market size of $750 million, require sensors to monitor the efficacy of the system over time. CoolCAD Electronics is currently collaborating with several UV filtration companies to test SiC photodetector parts fabricated in-house. The shorter UV wavelength allows for higher imaging resolution, leading to commercial applications in manufacturing and quality control, for defect monitoring and material fatigue inspection, and in monitoring weld quality in industrial welding applications. In addition, SiC UV detectors have application for oil and gas exploration where they can replace expensive photomultiplier tubes. A military and government application area of UV sensors with high sensitivity in the EUV, VUV and Deep UV regions is early warning systems, since rocket and jet engine plumes emit UV radiation. There are also emergent non-line-of-sight communication systems using UV signals, which will significantly benefit from monolithic integration of UV photodetectors and communication electronics.