SOFRADIR is one of the leading companies involved in the development and manufacturing of infrared detectors. Its
offer covers the infrared spectrum from visible range (0.4 μm) up to very long wavelength range (15 μm). The need in
this last field is driven by space activities, especially by meteorological instruments using imagery or spectrometry.
In the frame of Meteosat Third Generation mission, ESA has launched pre-development activities to address the critical
equipments for risk reduction. VLWIR detectors for FCI and IRS have been considered as challenging ones and thus
SOFRADIR has been involved for manufacturing and testing 2D arrays with long cut-off wavelength (14.9μm at 50K) in
order to evaluate their compliance to MTG requirements as far as dark current behaviour, quantum efficiency, photoresponse
uniformity, spatial response, operability and reliability are concerned.
In parallel, trends of space and tactical applications call for dark current reduction technology in order to improve
systems performances in terms of operating temperature and signal to noise ratio. In the frame of its common laboratory
DEFIR with CEA-LETI, Sofradir has developed a new MCT p on n technology to answer this need. First demonstrations
were made with success (640x512, pitch 15μm and cut-off 9.5μm) and Sofradir is now industrializing this technology in
particular for tactical application. Thanks to the communality between space and tactical activity at Sofradir, these results
will benefit advantageously also to space activity.
In this paper, we present a review of latest Sofradir results concerning LWIR and VLWIR technology. In particular,
latest data, concerning development and characterization of generic VLWIR technology up to 15 μm cut-off wavelength,
are presented as well as data concerning the promising p on n LWIR technology.