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21 October 2005 Optimisation of QWIP detectors for space applications
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Abstract
Acreo is one of the leading producers of QWIP FPAs in the world and is also intensively running R&D activities. The European Space Agency has awarded Acreo the contracts "Far-IR Linear Detector Array" in 6-18 μm infrared range within the Darwin mission's frameworks and "Quantum Well Infrared Photodetector Arrays" in 11-15 μm range for Earth observation (EO). The Darwin project imposes hard requirements on the dark current, while for the EO project the operating temperature is a stringent constraint. The goal of both contracts is to establish and demonstrate the ultimate performance of Acreo's QWIP-technology for these applications at the highest possible operating temperature. For this purpose Acreo designed, grew and characterised QWIP material sensitive to different wavelengths in the range of 6-18 μm. To investigate transport properties and verify the validity of the hydrodynamic model of the dark current, experiments with varying numbers of quantum wells per thickness unit and periods were conducted. A structure for long infrared region with an increased number of periods revealed a drastic reduction of the dark current at transient temperature. The dependence of the capture probabilities on the electron energy in the miniband resulting in different dependencies of the photoconductive gain for the photo- and dark currents on the number of periods is suggested as the reason for that. Such hypothesis shows possibilities for improvement of the balance between the photo- and dark current. Optimisation of the photoconductive gain changes the geometrical parameters of the detector and requires optimisation of the optical coupling.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Sergiy Smuk, Andrey Gromov, Jorgen Alverbro, Patrick Merken, Tim Souverijns, Dan Haga, Hedda Malm, Carl Asplund, Jan Borglind, Smilja Becanovic, Pia Tinghag, Henk Martijn, and Bernhard Hirschauer "Optimisation of QWIP detectors for space applications", Proc. SPIE 5978, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites IX, 59781B (21 October 2005); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.632799
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