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Advanced Detectors, Systems, & Nanoscience

MDL’s Alex Carver at the newly installed custom-built MBE.

8-inch Silicon Molecular Beam Epitaxy for High Throughput Processing of UV/Optical/NIR Silicon Imaging Arrays

The current golden age of astronomy is enabled in part by the design, fabrication, and deployment of large telescopes with large focal plane arrays (FPAs). To populate these large FPAs, a large number of high performance large array detectors have to be produced.

JPL’s delta-doping technology uses molecular-beam epitaxy (MBE) with its precision atomic control to modify back-illuminated silicon imagers and enable 100 percent internal quantum efficiency and extended spectral response, as well as stability and uniformity required for precision photometry, high-resolution imaging, and spectrometry applications. JPL’s large-wafer capacity with multiwafer capability provides high throughput processing required for producing cost-effective, high-performance detector arrays for instruments. Applications for future missions include a large-aperture UV/optical telescope for cosmology and astrophysics studies, UV spectrometers to map the intergalactic medium (IGM), study planetary atmospheres, and for mineralogy and life detection.

This far-UV electron-multiplied CCD processed with MDL’s delta-doping and custom AR coatings

Examples of various devices produced include delta-doped and antireflection-coated (AR-coated) electron-multiplied CCDs (EMCCDs) for future cosmology and primitive body studies that would need single-photon counting capabilities; delta-doped hybrid CMOS imaging arrays for an ultracompact, high-resolution camera for planetary down-hole instruments; deep-UV CMOS imagers with fast readout, and monolithic CMOS and CCD devices for imaging and spectroscopy instruments.


Current Projects