SBIR Success Story: Voxtel, Inc.
12725 SW Millikan Way, Ste 230
Project Title: SWIR Photon Counting Avalanche Photodiodes
NIST Award(s): SB1341-02-0015
Technology Developed: Voxtel has developed both linear and Geiger-mode NIR and SWIR APDs with photon counting ability.
Key Words: avalanche photodiode, APD, photodiode, near infrared, NIR, photon counting
Uses of Technology/Products/Service: In a NIST Phase I SBIR contract, Voxtel, Inc. investigated the development of new detector architectures suitable for photon counting. Phase II resulted in fabrication of the NIR photodiodes with monolithically integrated low noise CMOS readouts. This effort resulted in an infrared avalanche photodiode (APD) with substantially higher sensitivity, higher speed, lower noise and higher temperature and voltage stability than currently available APDs. Voxtel near infrared (NIR) APDs are well-suited for applications that require high sensitivity and fast response times in the 9-1.6 micron spectral range. These include: communications systems, eye-safe laser detectors, confocal microscopy, particle detection, quantum cryptography, time correlated single photon counting (TCSPC), LIDAR, astronomical observation, optical range finding, optical fiber test and fault location and ultra sensitive fluorescence.
Benefit to Company: The NIST SBIR program was instrumental in the execution of Voxtel’s APD new product development plan, and paved the way for continued support in the form of a NIST Phase II award. The results of both awards have culminated into a product line of single photon sensitive avalanche photodiode detectors and detector arrays with 0.9 – 1.6 micron wavelength sensitivities. This technology is Voxtel’s state-of-the-art technologies and capabilities platform, on which a number of products and capabilities have emerged and continue to develop, including single and multi-channel single photon detector devices, as well as LADAR and LIDAR detector systems.
Impact on Company Growth: Strategic
How Product Was Commercialized: Leveraging our research and development efforts supported by the NIST Phase I and Phase II efforts, we have successfully transitioned to a product line of high performance silicon APD products InGaAs APDs with 0.9 - 1.5 micron sensitivity. Our primary emphasis in this area is in high performance, III-V (InAlGaAs) impact ionization engineered APDs, aimed at low noise and single photon counting detector arrays. These APDs are optimized for linear or Geiger mode operation, delivering the best possible sensitivity for high bandwidth, near infrared (NIR) and visible spectrum (VIS) optical applications. The VFI series of APDs is enabled by sophisticated amplification and pulse processing readout integrated circuits. Voxtel VFI series APDs are available in a variety of packages and formats, including uncooled, thermo-electrically cooled TO-8 packages and bare die.
Past R&D and/or Sales from this Project: $9.8M
Estimated Future Annual R&D and/or Sales from this Project: $4.6M