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Feasibilitiy of Germanium-on-Silicon CCD Development



Prime contractor
Organisational Unit
Activity Type
Implementation progress
26 March 2021

Duration: 12 months


Charge coupled devices are mature technology and the current work-horse detector for visible wavelength space imaging and spectroscopy missions. They offer flexible and ultra-high performance, meeting the needs for focal planes from the very small to the very large. However, as silicon detectors they are inherently limited to a maximum practical wavelength of approximately 1 µm. With the addition of a germanium sensing layer this cut-off wavelength could be extended into the near infrared, as far as 1.7 µm, opening up the use of this technology to many more applications both on ground and in space. This is a novel development, not available anywhere else and with the potential to create new applications and opportunities to employ the unique features of charge-transfer technology and benefit from the mature manufacturing base on which CCDs are founded. The outcome of this study will be a report detailing the feasibility of implementing germanium on silicon technology for CCDs, the potential performance and how such technology could be implemented within an existing industrial environment. Whilst Ge and SiGe are the primary topics of this feasibility study the use of other group-IV alloys will also be explored. The potential other technologies including intermediate bands, quantum wells and quantum dots will also be investigated.

Contract number
OSIP Idea Id
Related OSIP Campaign
Open Channel
Main application area
Generic for multiple space applications
Open Channel Studies evaluation session 2020-07