Optical EngineeringNew generation of near-room-temperature photodetectors
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The major drawback of IR photodetectors is the need for cooling to suppress thermal generation of free carriers resulting in noise. New ways to improve the performance of infrared photodetectors operated without cryogenical cooling are discussed, including the optimum design of the devices, the use of optical immersion of photodetectors to high refraction index lenses, and the optical resonant cavity. Another and very promising way, however, is the suppression of thermal generation, which is governed by the Auger mechanism by depletion of the semiconductor in charge carriers. The stationary depletion can be achieved by the use of exclusion, extraction, and magnetoconcentration effects. The combination of various methods would eventually enable us to achieve near-background-limited photodetection (near-BLIP) performance of IR detectors without cooling.