Over the past few years, the Missile Defense Agency Advanced Technology Directorate (MDA/DV) has funded the
development of a new III-V infrared (IR) sensor focal plane material: type II strained layer superlattice (SLS). Infrared
sensors are crucial to missile defense capabilities for target acquisition, tracking, discrimination, and aim point selection;
they serve other military sensing applications as well. Most current infrared military systems use mercury-cadmiumtelluride
(HgCdTe), a II-VI semiconductor material, for long-wavelength (LW) (8-12 um) focal plane array (FPA)
applications. It is difficult to achieve large-format FPAs in HgCdTe at long wavelengths (LW) due to their low yield.
The situation is aggravated by the limitation of the small cadmium-zinc-telluride (CdZnTe) substrates. SLS is the only
known IR material that has a theoretical prediction of higher performance than HgCdTe. Over the past three years, SLS
technology has progressed significantly, demonstrating experimentally its potential as a strong candidate for future highperformance
IR sensor materials. In this paper, we will discuss the most recent progress made in SLS. We will also
discuss MDA's new direction for this technology development. The plan is to use a horizontal integration approach
instead of adhering to the existing vertical integration model. This new horizontal approach is to increase the number of
industrial participants working in SLS and leverage existing III-V semiconductor foundries. Hopefully it will reduce the
cost of SLS IR technology development, shared foundry maintenance, and future SLS production.