16 September 2011 The performance improvement calculation of corrugated quantum well infrared photodetector (C-QWIP) with a high critical temperature (Tc) superconducting electron filter
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Abstract
The Corrugated Quantum Well Infrared Photodetector (C-QWIP) holds significant performance and other advantages over other infrared (IR) detectors. However, one disadvantage of the detector is the relatively low operating temperature needed to suppress the dark current. By coating two additional layers (thin insulator and high critical temperature (Tc) superconductor) on the top contact layer of a C-QWIP wafer, the top three layers of the detector form a high-Tc superconducting single electron tunneling junction. It could act as an electron filter because of the presence of an energy gap in superconductors. For QWIPs, the photo electrons and dark electrons are well separated in energy, most dark current is conducting below the quantum well (QW) barrier height and most photo current is conducting above the barrier height. Most dark electrons thus could be blocked by the junction while most photo electrons pass the junction by applying an appropriate voltage. Therefore, both the sensitivity and the operating temperature of the detector could be improved. Our calculation shows that the filter could provide 40% or 70% improvement in Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference (NETD) of detector focal plane arrays (FPAs) at normal operating temperature, depending on whether the detector emitter photocurrent to dark current ratio is = 1 (Emitter is background limited BLIP) or = 0.1 (Emitter is far from BLIP). For both cases, the filter could increase the detector FPAs operating temperatures up to 90K (30K improvement) with 15% to 25% NETD improvement respectively.
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Jason Sun, K. K. Choi, "The performance improvement calculation of corrugated quantum well infrared photodetector (C-QWIP) with a high critical temperature (Tc) superconducting electron filter", Proc. SPIE 8155, Infrared Sensors, Devices, and Applications; and Single Photon Imaging II, 81550G (16 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.892111; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.892111
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