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20 October 1993 Low-noise performance and dark-current measurements on the 256 x 256 NICMOS3 FPA
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Abstract
The NICMOS3 infrared focal plane array (FPA), which was designed as a Hubble Telescope upgrade device, provides excellent low-noise images in the 1 - 2.5 micrometers (SWIR) band. Both the detector array and the readout multiplexer of this hybrid FPA are optimized for low- noise operation. The NICMOS detector array is fabricated in HgCdTe grown on a sapphire substrate (PACE-I material). The sapphire substrate is very rugged and provides a good thermal contraction match to the silicon multiplexer, producing excellent reliability. The composition of the HgCdTe is adjusted to yield a response cutoff at 2.5 micrometers which limits the detector response to thermal background from the atmosphere and telescope. The quantum efficiency of the detectors is %GRT 50% over the 1 - 2.4 micrometers range. The dark current of the NICMOS detector is < 1 eMIN/s at 77 K, which is unprecedented for an IR detector. The multiplexer is a switched-FET CMOS design with a single source-follower per unit cell. The photocurrent is integrated on each detector diode, and the diode voltage level can be read nondestructively, or reset after each readout. This flexibility in the FPA operation makes it possible to generate images at a 12 Hz data frame rate or to optimize for low-noise exposures of many thousands of seconds. With a readout before and after each reset, off-chip correlated double sampling can be implemented to reduce the read noise to < 30 e-.
© (1993) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Donald E. Cooper, Duc Q. Bui, Robert B. Bailey, Lester J. Kozlowski, and Kadri Vural "Low-noise performance and dark-current measurements on the 256 x 256 NICMOS3 FPA", Proc. SPIE 1946, Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation, (20 October 1993); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.158670
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