Technology Driven ·  Warfighter Focused

Large Affordable Substrates


Demonstrate the feasibility of growing and polishing Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CdZnTe) substrates. This program will take it to the next level by increasing the diameter of the substrates and increasing the growth and processing yield.


The pilot program(s) at each selected depot/arsenal will demonstrate current and future Army Infrared Focal Plane Arrays (IR FPAs) that use Mercury Cadmium Telluride (HgCdTe) detectors are expensive, in large part due to the small size of the underlying Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CdZnTe) substrate (currently 36cm2 ). Additionally, the CdZnTe substrates are available through a single foreign source, putting future production at risk of disruption. Small substrates inherently drive up the cost of detectors as labor costs are essentially the same independent of substrate size. Developing the manufacturing technology (substrate polishing) to enable a domestic source of larger CdZnTe substrates (up to 100cm2 ) would decrease the cost and risk of Army IR FPAs


The selected domestic CdZnTe supplier is Raytheon Vision Systems (RVS). RVS, working in conjunction with Teledyne Imaging Systems (TIS), are improving the polishing roughness and uniformity of the CdZnTe substrates required for molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) deposition of HgCdTe infrared detectors. In FY08, the program demonstrated 6x6cm CdZnTe substrates mined from a 93mm boule. In FY09, demonstrated an improved polishing process for IR FPA defect reduction. HgCdTe infrared detector material, deposited on domestically produced and polished wafers from this program, demonstrated a factor of 3 total defect reduction from those deposited on the sole source supplier from Japan.


• Significantly reduces acquisition and total ownership costs of IR FPAs
• Cost savings – 30% unit cost reduction
• Significantly reduces supplier risk of multiple Department of Defense (DoD) IR FPA development and pre-production programs through establishment of domestic supplier of CdZnTe substrates
• Provides combat overmatch - the Soldier can identify threat before they can even detect presence, See First/Act First
• Increased survivability - the Soldier can rapidly search wide areas while on-the-move with improved standoff
• Reduced crew burden - Soldier fatigue is decreased through aided search and detection for surveillance tasks and difficult/ obscured targets with shorter target reporting timelines


In FY10, the program delivered two 3rd Generation forward looking infrared (FLIR) system development and demonstration (SDD) FPAs on domestically grown 6x6cm CdZnTe substrates (Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) 4). Operability for both mid-wave and long-wave bands was above 99%. This effort developed improved seeded growth process (on 93mm boule) to increase single-crystalyield. In the future (FY11-13), this program will scale the boule growth processes to 150mm to increase yield of large substrates (including upgrading the furnace, tooling and sawing). This will enable both vendors to process uniform large area domestically grown 10×10cm CdZnTe substrates.


• 3rd Generation Forward Looking Infrared SDD Program (Program Manager-Forward Looking Infrared (PM-FLIR)/Program Manager-Night Vision/Reconnaissance Surveillance and Target Acquisition (PM-NV/RSTA)
• SM-3 Program (Missile Defense Agency)
• Common Sensor Payload (US Army)
• Long Range Advanced Scout Surveillance System (LRAS3) pre-planned product improvement (P3I)
• High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) and Stryker vehicle
• Incremental Spirals [Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV), Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)]
• Program Executive Office (PEO) Aviation: Apache Helicopter


• Return on Investment of of 13.3 to 1 with a cost benefit of $147M

POC: Army ManTech Manager, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC), Night Vision Electronics Sensors Directorate (NVESD), ATTN: RDER-NVS-STD, Ft. Belvoir, VA 22060-5806

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