Stability over time has recently become a figure of merit of major importance to compare the performances of infrared focal plane arrays (FPA) of different technologies. Indeed, this parameter dictates how often the calibration of operational electro-optical systems has to be done, and thus reflects the availability of the system during an operational mission. The stability over time is generally estimated through fixed pattern noise (FPN) and residual fixed pattern noise (RFPN) measurements after a two-point correction. However, each laboratory or industrial has its own protocols and criteria, such that published results cannot be easily compared. Recent studies also showed that random telegraph signal (RTS) noise, which leads to flickering pixels, can strongly affect the image quality, so the question arises as to wether these RTS pixels have an effect on RFPN. In this paper, we describe our experimental protocol to evaluate the stability over time of an FPA and to count up/classify flickering pixels. We then present the results obtained on a T2SL MWIR Integrated Detector Dewar Cooler Assembly (IDDCA) provided by IRnova. Our measurements show that the stability over time of the T2SL MWIR IDDCA are excellent: first, in terms of FPN/RFPN; then, in terms of RTS noise with only a few blinking pixels. We also show that the RTS pixels having an effect on the RFPN are fully detected by the algorithm used to rule out defective pixels before calculating RFPN.
Type-II InAs/GaSb superlattice (T2SL) has recently matured into a commercially available technology addressing both MWIR and LWIR spectral domains. As the prerequisites such as Quantum Efficiency (QE) and dark current were met, more advanced figures of merits related to the ElectroOptic (EO) system as a whole can now be studied in order to position this technology. In this paper, we focus on modulation transfer function (MTF) measurements. Knowing the MTF of a detector is indeed of primary importance for the EO system designers, since spatial filtering affects the system range. We realized MTF measurements on a 320x256 MWIR T2SL FPA provided by IRnova, using a Continuously Self Imaging Grating (CSIG). The advantage of this experimental configuration is that no high performance projection optics is required. Indeed, the CSIG exploits the self-imaging property (known as Talbot effect) to project a pattern with known spatial frequencies on the photodetector. Such MTF measurements have never been done in Integrated Detector Dewar Cooler Assembly (IDDCA) configuration, so we had to study the effect of the vibrations induced by the cryocooler. Vibrations indeed affect the MTF measurement in the same way electrical diffusion would do. Using three accelerometers we optimized our experimental setup and extracted MTF measurements with reduced vibrations. The pixel size is 26μm for a pitch of 30μm.
In recent years, Type-II InAs/GaSb superlattice (T2SL) has emerged as a new material technology suitable for high performance infrared (IR) detectors operating from Near InfraRed (NIR, 2-3μm) to Very Long Wavelength InfraRed (LWIR, λ > 15μm) wavelength domains. To compare their performances with well-established IR technologies such as MCT, InSb or QWIP cooled detectors, specific electrical and radiometric characterizations are needed: dark current, spectral response, quantum efficiency, temporal and spatial noises, stability… In this paper, we first present quantum efficiency measurements performed on T2SL MWIR (3-5μm) photodiodes and on one focal plane array (320x256 pixels with 30μm pitch, realized in the scope of a french collaboration ). Different T2SL structures (InAs-rich versus GaSb-rich) with the same cutoff wavelength (λ<sub>c</sub>= 5μm at 80K) were studied. Results are analysed in term of carrier diffusion length in order to define the optimum thickness and type of doping of the absorbing zone. We then focus on the stability over time of a commercial T2SL FPA (320x256 pixels with 30μm pitch), measuring the commonly used residual fixed pattern noise (RFPN) figure of merit. Results are excellent, with a very stable behaviour over more than 3 weeks, and less than 10 flickering pixels, possibly giving access to long-term stability of IR absolute calibration.
This paper reports studies on spatial characteristics of Mid Wave InfraRed (MWIR) InAs/GaSb superlattices (T2SL) photodetectors. Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) measurements on commercial T2SL MWIR Focal Plane Array (FPA) are reported, using a Continuously Self Imaging Grating (CSIG). We find that measurements of the pixel size can be reliably achieved thanks to a new approach of data processing. Next, a new class of radiometric characterization, called "correctability", or ability for FPA pixels to durably keep the same behavior when exposed to a given radiometric flux, has been investigated on. Gain and offset corrections and Residual Fixed Pattern Noise (RFPN) measurements have also been made. The results obtained confirm the potentiality of high performance T2SL infrared photodetectors.