We here at the KIND Engineering research group have 3 dedicated labs that we use on a daily basis: AMBER for molecular beam epitaxial (MBE) growth of infrared (low bandgap) semiconductors, OASIS for the characterization of infrared-responsive materials, and MICA for the characterization of infrared detectors and imagers.
AMBER (Antimonide MBE Reactor)
AMBER is an Antimonide-containing Molecular Beam Epitaxial Reactor. AMBER deposits 1-atom thick layers of elements to grow designed semiconductor materials. AMBER is specifically designed to support the growth of superlattice structures (SLS) containing antimony. Antimony-bearing superlattices can be designed to respond to photons across the infrared spectrum while still providing degrees of freedom to control the carrier dynamics. AMBER contains ports to introduce up to 12 elements, and it is currently configured to grow materials with gallium, indium, aluminum, antimony, or arsenic as the constituents and silicon, beryllium, or gallium telluride as the dopants. AMBER is part of the SEAL user-facility.
OASIS (Optical And Structural screening of Infrared Semiconductors) lab
The Optical Analysis and Screening of Infrared Semiconductors (OASIS) lab houses custom and commercial instruments to analyze infrared semiconductors. A Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometer measures absorption, reflection, and photoluminescence. A microwave-reflectance lifetime system measures the dynamic response of semiconductors to optical excitation. OASIS includes an automated sample mapping system that measures photoluminescence and lifetime at user-specified points across a semiconductor wafer. All of the measurements can be performed at a range of temperatures to provide more detailed information about the materials. One research goal is to demonstrate that these early, rapid measurements of wafers can predict final performance characteristics and, therefore, screen material before further processing. OASIS is part of the SEAL user-facility.
MICA (Mid Infrared Characterization and Application) lab
The Mid-Infrared Characterization and Application (MICA) lab houses electro-optical systems to characterize fabricated infrared detectors and imagers. A probe station is used to measure current-voltage-temperature and capacitance-voltage-temperature response characteristics. A custom measurement setup is used to quantify the Quantum Efficiency (QE) and noise of detectors across the infrared spectrum. These quantitative characteristics allow the performance of research detectors to be compared against commercial state-of-the-art detectors. An integrated-circuit readout station is used to test infrared imagers after the integration of an infrared detector array onto a readout integrated circuit (ROIC). Our research explores advances in both the array and the ROIC. In addition, MICA contains open optical benches to support the integration and testing of infrared sensor systems. MICA is part of the Nanotech West user-facility.