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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

InGaAs detectors and FPA’s for a large span of applications: design and material considerations

Paper Abstract

Compared with the other Infrared detector materials, such as HgCdTe (or MCT) and lead salts (e.g.: PbS, PbSe, PbSnTe, …), the history of InGaAs FPA’s is not that old. Some 25 years ago the first linear detectors were used for space missions [1,2]. During the last 15-20 years InGaAs, grown lattice matched on InP, has become the work horse for the telecommunication industry [3] and later on for passive and active imagery in the SWIR range. For longer wavelengths than 1.7 μm, III-V materials are in strong competition with SWIR MCT and till now the performance of MCT is better than high In-content InGaAs. During the last years some alternatives based on quaternary materials [4] and on Superlattice structures [5] are making gradual progress in such a way that they can yield performing Focal planes in the (near) future.

As the SWIR wavelengths range covers a large variety of applications, also the FPA characteristics and mainly the ROIC properties need to be adjusted to fulfil the mission requirements with the requested performance. Additionally one has to bear in mind that the nature of SWIR radiation is completely different from what is usually encountered in IR imaging. Whereas the signal of thermal imagery in the Middle Wavelength (MWIR: [3 – 5 μm]) or Long Wavelength (LWIR: [8 – 10 μm] or [8 – 12 μm]) band is characterized by a large DC pedestal, caused by objects at ambient temperature, and a small AC signal, due to the small temperature or emissivity variations, SWIR range imagery is characterized by a large dynamic range and almost no DC signal. In this sense the SWIR imagery is resembling more the nature of Visible and NIR imaging than that of thermal imagery.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 November 2017
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 10563, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2014, 1056313 (17 November 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2304272
Show Author Affiliations
J. P. Vermeiren, Xenics nv (Belgium)
P. Merken, Xenics nv (Belgium)
RMA (Belgium)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10563:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2014
Zoran Sodnik; Bruno Cugny; Nikos Karafolas, Editor(s)

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