DARPA awards SCD contract to develop novel IR device

AUGUST 13--Semi Conductor Devices has received a Phase I contract from DARPA, valued at $1.75 million, for the development of a new "XBn" infrared detector technology.

AUGUST 13--Semi Conductor Devices (SCD; Haifa, Israel; www.scd.co.il), a manufacturer of cooled and uncooled infrared detectors and laser diodes, has received a Phase I contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), valued at $1.75 million, for the development of a new "XBn" infrared detector technology. If all phases of the development program are completed, the total value of the funding could be up to $5 million.

The program considers a new type of semiconductor heterostructure detector, in which no depletion layer exists in any narrow bandgap region. Instead, the depletion layer is confined to a wider bandgap barrier material. In such a "barrier device," the dark current can be made lower than in a conventional homostructure device operating at the same temperature. This will allow operating temperatures to be achieved in the region of 150K without degrading the detector's performance relative to homostructure devices with a similar photo-response operating at lower temperatures.

Baruch Glick, CEO of SCD, said, "We see this direct contract between an Israeli company and DARPA as a recognition by DARPA in the capabilities of SCD to perform a challenging project that eventually will fit into the high-end infrared systems."

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