Structured Materials Industries, Inc. (SMI) reports that it has received an Army Phase I SBIR to investigate and develop an alternative substrate material, Mg2Si, using MOCVD processes to grow the material on Si. HgCdTe (or MCT) is a strategically important Infrared (IR) detector material. MCT is used in many military and civilian applications where highest IR sensitivities are required. MCT however has no readily available economical large area substrate. Mg2Si has potential as an MCT substrate material since it can be grown epitaxially on Si and has a low lattice mismatch with MCT.
The ability to produce a workable substrate layer on a low cost large area substrate material like Si could greatly improve material cost and availability and improve systems capabilities with larger sensing areas. The MOCVD process is advantageous for this material system in that it can accommodate deposition on substrates through 12” diameters, generally has high throughput, is economical and can produce high quality materials.