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10 October 2001 LWIR QWIPs operating around 77 K
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Standard GaAs/AlGaAs QWIPs are now well established for LWIR detection. The main advantage of this technology is the duality with the technology of commercial GaAs devices. The realization of large FPAs (up to 640 X 480) drawing on the standard III-V technological process has already been demonstrated. The second advantage widely claimed for QWIPs is the so-called band-gap engineering, allowing the custom design of the quantum structure to fulfill the requirements of specific applications such as multispectral detection. QWIP technology has been growing up over the last ten years and now reaches an undeniable level of maturity. As with all quantum detectors, the operating temperature of QWIPs is limited by the thermal current, particularly in the LWIR range. It is very crucial to achieve an operating temperature as high as possible and at least above 77 K in order to reduce volume and power consumption and to improve the reliability of the detection module. This thermal current offset has three detrimental effects: noise increase, storage capacitor saturation and high sensitivity of FPAs to fluctuations in operating temperature. For LWIR FPAs, large cryocoolers are required, which means volume and power consumption unsuitable for handheld systems. The understanding of detection mechanisms has led us to design and realize high performance 'standard' QWIPS working near 77 K. Furthermore, a new in situ skimmed architecture accommodating this offset has already been demonstrated. In this paper we summarize the contribution of THALES Research & Technology to this progress. We present the current status of QWIPs in France, including the latest performances achieved with both standard and skimmed architectures. We illustrate the development of our QWIPs by results on FPAs.
© (2001) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Eric M. Costard, Philippe Francis Bois, Xavier Marcadet, Eric Herniou, Alain Manissadjian, and Philippe M. Tribolet "LWIR QWIPs operating around 77 K", Proc. SPIE 4369, Infrared Technology and Applications XXVII, (10 October 2001);


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