17 May 2006 QWIP development status at Thales Research and Technology
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Abstract
Standard GaAs/AlGaAs Quantum Well Infrared Photodetectors (QWIP) are now seriously considered as a technological choice for the 3rd generation of thermal imagers. Since 2001, the THALES Group has been manufacturing sensitive arrays using QWIP technology based on AsGa techniques through THALES Research and Technology Laboratory. This QWIP technology allows the realisation of large staring arrays for Thermal Imagers (TI) working in the Infrared region of the spectrum. A review of the current QWIP products is presented (LWIR, MWIR and dual color FPAs). The main advantage of this GaAs detector technology is that it is also used for other commercial devices. The duality of this QWIP technology has lead to important improvements over the last ten years and it reaches now an undeniable level of maturity. As a result, the processing of large substrate and a good characteristic uniformity, which are the key parameters for reaching high production yield, are already achieved. Concerning the defective pixels, the main common features are a high operability (above 99.9%) and a low number of clusters including a maximum of 5 dead pixels. Another advantage of this III-V technology is the versatility of the design and processing phases. It allows customizing both the quantum structure and the pixel architecture in order to fulfill the requirements of any specific applications. The spectral response of QWIPs is intrinsically resonant but the quantum structure can be designed for a given detection wavelength window ranging from MWIR, LWIR to VLWIR.
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Eric Costard, Alexandru Nedelcu, Xavier Marcadet, Eric Belhaire, Philippe Bois, "QWIP development status at Thales Research and Technology", Proc. SPIE 6206, Infrared Technology and Applications XXXII, 62060D (17 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.673566; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.673566
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