In this paper we demonstrate how the QWIPs are keeping all their promises in terms of performance, versatility and cost, partly thanks to excellent uniformity, stability and manufacturability, as well as the flexibility of tailoring both the detection wavelength and the polarization sensitivity.
Thanks to the intrinsic uniformity and stability of the III-V technology combined with the process maturity at IRnova, high resolution (VGA format, 15 µm pitch) QWIPs are now integrated in compact Integrated Detector Dewar Cooler Assemblies (IDDCAs). For regular high-end thermography applications, these IDDCAs operate with moderate 500 mW cryocoolers, which opens the field for handheld cameras.
Thanks to the band gap engineering, the detector’s spectral response can be tailored and optimized for different wavelength ranges. In addition to the 8.5 µm QWIP, which is optimized for thermal imaging, a QWIP with 10.5 µm peak wavelength has been tailored for detection of harmful gases, such as SF6. The performance of high resolution QWIPs with peak detection at 10.5 µm integrated in IDDCAs is demonstrated showing the impact of high sensitivity and high resolution on the image quality.
Thanks to the intrinsic sensitivity of QWIP to the polarization of the light it is possible to complement the thermal information with polarimetric information. This opens new possibilities for detection of certain features such as oil spill and de-camouflage. In this paper we demonstrate the high polarimetric contrast obtained with our 320×256 polarimetric IDDCA.