11 November 2002 GaAs/AlGaAs based multiquantum-well infrared detector arrays for low-background applications
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Abstract
A long-wavelength large format Quantum Well Infrared Photodetector (QWIP) focal plane array has been successfully used in a ground based astronomy experiment. QWIP arrays afford greater flexibility than the usual extrinsically doped semiconductor infrared (IR) arrays. Recently, we operated an infrared camera with a 256x256 QWIP array sensitive at 8.5 μm at the prime focus of the 5-m Hale telescope, obtaining the images. The remarkable noise stability - and low 1/f noise - of QWIP focal plane arrays enable camera to operate by modulating the optical signal with a nod period up to 100 s. A 500 s observation on dark sky renders a flat image with little indication of the low spatial frequency structures associated with imperfect sky substration or detector drifts. At low operating temperatures for low-background irradiance levels, high resistivity of thick barriers in the active region of QWIPs impeded electrons from entering the detector from the opposite electrode. This could lead to a delay in refilling the space-charge buildup, and result in a lower responsitivity at high optical modulation frequencies. In order to overcome this problem we have designed a new detector structure, the blocked intersubband detector (BID) with separate active quantum well region and blocking barrier.
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Sarath D. Gunapala, Sumith V. Bandara, James J. Bock, Michael E. Ressler, John K. Liu, Jason M. Mumolo, S. B. Rafol, Michael W. Werner, David A. Cardimona, "GaAs/AlGaAs based multiquantum-well infrared detector arrays for low-background applications", Proc. SPIE 4823, Photonics for Space Environments VIII, (11 November 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.453511; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.453511
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KEYWORDS
Quantum well infrared photodetectors

Sensors

Quantum wells

Staring arrays

Quantum efficiency

Absorption

Modulation

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