The desire for larger and larger format arrays for astronomical observatories -- both ground and space based -- has fueled the development of detector, readout, and hybrid Focal Plane Array (FPA) technology that has paved the way for later development of tactical and strategic arrays for military applications. Since 1994, Raytheon has produced megapixel readouts and FPAs for Infrared Astronomy. In 1999 Raytheon demonstrated a revolutionary approach to photolithography called Reticle Image Composition Lithography (RICL) that opened the door to very large format FPAs in state of the art sub-micron CMOS processes. The first readout processed using the patented RICL technique was a 4.2 megapixel readout for astronomy.
We present the design and performance of several 4.2 megapixel (2048 x 2048) readout arrays for visible and infrared astronomy applications. The first of these arrays are fabricated in a workhorse 2 μm CMOS process that is optimized for low temperature operation (down to as low as 6 Kelvin). Most recently Raytheon has developed a scaleable 2,048 x 2,048 high density array for several ground based astronomical applications. This array can be manufactured in any m x n multiple of a basic 1024 (V) x 512 (H) pixel array core. The primary design is a 2 x 4 array to yield a 2,048 x 2,048 format array. This same design can be extended to at least a 4,096 x 4,096 format array -- an incredible 16.7 megapixel array!
These readouts are compatible with a wide range of detector types including InSb, HgCdTe, and Si detectors. The use of hybrid technology -- even for the visible wavebands -- allows 100% optical fill factors to be achieved. The design and performance of these megapixel class detectors, readouts, and FPAs will be presented.