5 June 2007 MBE based HgCdTe APDs and 3D LADAR sensors
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Abstract
Raytheon is developing HgCdTe APD arrays and sensor chip assemblies (SCAs) for scanning and staring LADAR systems. The nonlinear characteristics of APDs operating in moderate gain mode place severe requirements on layer thickness and doping uniformity as well as defect density. MBE based HgCdTe APD arrays, engineered for high performance, meet the stringent requirements of low defects, excellent uniformity and reproducibility. In situ controls for alloy composition and substrate temperature have been implemented at HRL, LLC and Raytheon Vision Systems and enable consistent run to run results. The novel epitaxial designed using separate absorption-multiplication (SAM) architectures enables the realization of the unique advantages of HgCdTe including: tunable wavelength, low-noise, high-fill factor, low-crosstalk, and ambient operation. Focal planes built by integrating MBE detectors arrays processed in a 2 x 128 format have been integrated with 2 x 128 scanning ROIC designed. The ROIC reports both range and intensity and can detect multiple laser returns with each pixel autonomously reporting the return. FPAs show exceptionally good bias uniformity <1% at an average gain of 10. Recent breakthrough in device design has resulted in APDs operating at 300K with essentially no excess noise to gains in excess of 100, low NEP <1nW and GHz bandwidth. 3D LADAR sensors utilizing these FPAs have been integrated and demonstrated both at Raytheon Missile Systems and Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division at China Lake. Excellent spatial and range resolution has been achieved with 3D imagery demonstrated both at short range and long range. Ongoing development under an Air Force Sponsored MANTECH program of high performance HgCdTe MBE APDs grown on large silicon wafers promise significant FPA cost reduction both by increasing the number of arrays on a given wafer and enabling automated processing.
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Michael Jack, Jim Asbrock, Steven Bailey, Diane Baley, George Chapman, Gina Crawford, Betsy Drafahl, Eileen Herrin, Robert Kvaas, William McKeag, Valerie Randall, Terry De Lyon, Andy Hunter, John Jensen, Tom Roberts, Patrick Trotta, T. Dean Cook, "MBE based HgCdTe APDs and 3D LADAR sensors", Proc. SPIE 6542, Infrared Technology and Applications XXXIII, 65421A (5 June 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.724347; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.724347
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