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Proceedings Paper

HgCdTe APD-focal plane array performance at DEFIR
Author(s): Johan Rothman; Eric De Borniol; Philippe Ballet; Laurent Mollard; Sylvain Gout; M. Fournier; Jean-Paul Chamonal; Gérard Destéfanis; Frederic Pistone; Solène Courtas; Xavier Lefoule; Philip Tribolet
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Paper Abstract

The optimization of HgCdTe avalanche-photo-diodes (e-APD) and focal plane arrays (FPA) are reported. The gain performances was measured in planar homo-junction APDs with Cd compositions between xCd=0.3 to 0.41. Exponentially increasing gain, synonym of exclusive electron multiplication, was observed in all the devices up to M>100. The high gain at high xCd opens the path to thermo-electric cooled active imaging at T=200K. This perspective is corroborated by the demonstration of high gains and low excess noise factor F=1.2 in extrinsically doped MW-APDs, which enables reduced dark-current at high temperatures. The equivalent input dark current (Ieq_in) decreased from 200 fA to 1 fA, when the cut-off wavelength was reduced from λ c=5.2 μm to 4.1 μm at M=100 and T=80 K. This shows that sensitivity can be optimized by increasing xCd, at the cost of increased reverse bias. A new horizontal-gain-well (HGW) hetero-structure was processed to optimize the sensitivity at high gain and low bias. The first HGW-APDs had gains comparables with MW e-APDs and 50 times lower dark-current at T=200 K. They did also display surprisingly high quantum efficiency in the MWIR range, ηpeak=30%, which enables thermal imaging at high operating temperature. The high performance of MW-APDs was confirmed by the characterizations of a first 320x256 30μm pitch APD-FPA, yielding a 99.8 % operability, low gain dispersion (<10%) and low noise equivalent photons (NEPh=3 at tint=1 μs) for gains up to M=70. The maturity of the DEFIR HgCdTe e-APD-FPA technology was highlighted by the first demonstration of passive amplified imaging.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 May 2009
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7298, Infrared Technology and Applications XXXV, 729835 (6 May 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.819320
Show Author Affiliations
Johan Rothman, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (France)
Eric De Borniol, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (France)
Philippe Ballet, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (France)
Laurent Mollard, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (France)
Sylvain Gout, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (France)
M. Fournier, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (France)
Jean-Paul Chamonal, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (France)
Gérard Destéfanis, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (France)
Frederic Pistone, SOFRADIR (France)
Solène Courtas, SOFRADIR (France)
Xavier Lefoule, SOFRADIR (France)
Philip Tribolet, SOFRADIR (France)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7298:
Infrared Technology and Applications XXXV
Bjørn F. Andresen; Gabor F. Fulop; Paul R. Norton, Editor(s)

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