C-QWIPs for space exploration

C-QWIPs for space exploration,10.1016/j.infrared.2010.12.006,Infrared Physics & Technology,K. K. Choi,M. D. Jhabvala,D. P. Forrai,J. Sun,D. Endres

C-QWIPs for space exploration  
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We have extended our investigation of corrugated quantum well infrared photodetector focal plane arrays (C-QWIP FPAs) into the far infrared regime. Specifically, we are developing the detectors for the thermal infrared sensor (TIRS) used in the NASA Landsat Data Continuity Mission. This mission requires infrared detection cutoff at 12.5μm and FPAs operated at ∼43K. To maintain a low dark current in these extended wavelengths, we adopted a low doping density of 0.6×1018cm−3 and a bound-to-bound state detector in one of the designs. The internal absorption quantum efficiency η is calculated to be 25.4% for a pixel pitch of 25μm and 60 periods of QWs. With a pixel fill factor of 80% and a substrate transmission of 70.9%, the external η is 14.4%. To yield the theoretical conversion efficiency CE, the photoconductive gain was measured and is 0.25 at 5V, from which CE is predicted to be 3.6%. This value is in agreement with the 3.5% from the FPA measurement. Meanwhile, the dark current is measured to be 2.1×10−6A/cm2 at 43K. For regular infrared imaging above 8μm, the FPA will have a noise equivalent temperature difference (NETD) of 16mK at 2ms integration time in the presence of 260 read noise electrons, and it increases to 22mK at 51K. The highest operability of the tested FPAs is 99.967%. With the CE agreement, we project the FPA performance in the far infrared regime up to 30-μm cutoff, which will be useful for the Jupiter-Europa deep space exploration. In this work, we also investigated the C-QWIP optical coupling when the detector substrate is thinned.
Journal: Infrared Physics & Technology - INFRARED PHYS TECHNOL , vol. 54, no. 3, pp. 170-176, 2011
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