NATO Science for Peace ProjectSfP - 981939
Novel Approach to Improvement of Ultra-Violet Detectors for Homeland Defence
Project Co-Directors: Prof. Leonid Chernyak, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, USA (NPD) Prof. David Cahen, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel (PPD) Dr. Ramunas Aleksiejunas, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania (NATO Co-Director) Dr. Konstantin Gartsman, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel (Partner Co-Director)
Approval Date: 25.07.2006 Effective Date: 25.07.2006 Duration: 3 years Expected completion Date: 25.07.2009 NATO Budget: 226,000 EUR
Abstract of ResearchWide band gap Gallium Nitride (GaN) - based semiconductors (III-Nitrides) have recently gained increased attention due to their ability to detect ultra-violet (UV) radiation. The detection of UV radiation presents a wide range of military applications, such as, for example, chemical and biological analysis (most organic substances, anthrax virus, for example, present characteristic absorption lines in the UV spectral range) or flame detection (including fire alarms, missile warning or combustion monitoring). As a threat of terrorism is a part of today's reality, availability of efficient UV detector arrays will enhance protection from biological/chemical weapons and will improve early missile launch warning infrastructure.
This project, which aims at improvement of quantum efficiency for UV detectors, responds to the NATO priority research topics IA (rapid detection of chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear agents and weapons), IB (novel and rapid methods of detection) and IIA (environmental security).
Major ObjectivesOur objective is to use electron injection to manipulate the minority carrier transport in p-(Al)GaN semiconductors and thus to revolutionize the performance of (Al)GaN photovoltaic detectors. Based on understanding the novel electron injection-induced effect, an electronic circuitry will be built to periodically use a short pulse of electron injection in (Al)GaN detectors to maintain a long-lasting significantly enhanced level of photoresponse. Note that a dramatically higher response is ensured by making use of the intrinsic materials properties, thus providing an opportunity for performance improvement in addition to that achieved by device technology and architecture alone