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22 October 2004 Design and development of multicolor detector arrays
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Multi-color infrared (IR) focal planes are required for high performance sensor applications. These sensors will require multi-color focal plane arrays (FPA) that will cover various wavelengths of interest in MWIR/LWIR and LWIR/VLWIR bands. There has been a significant progress in HgCdTe detector technology for multi-color MWIR/LWIR and LWIR/VLWIR focal plane arrays [1,2,3]. Two-color IR FPA eliminate the complexity of multiple single-color IR FPAs and provide a significant reduction of weight and power in a simpler, reliable and affordable systems. The complexity of multicolor IR detector MWIR/LWIR makes the device optimization by trial and error not only impractical but also merely impossible. Too many different geometrical and physical variables need to be considered at the same time. Additionally material characteristics are only relatively controllable and depend on the process repeatability. In this context the ability of performing simulation experiments where only one or a few parameters are carefully controlled is paramount for a quantum improvement of a new generation of multicolor detectors for various applications. Complex multi-color detector pixels cannot be designed and optimized by using a conventional 1D models. Several additional physical phenomena need to be taken into account. In designing a conventional photovoltaic IR detector array, a trade off exists on the choice of the pixel pitch, the pixel area and its height. The main goal of the device optimization is to reduce the pixel cross talk while keeping a high filling factor and detection efficiency. If the pixel height is made comparable to the lateral pixel dimension the contribution of the lateral photocurrent and lateral generation-recombination current becomes relevant and a full 2D simulation needs to be performed. It also important to point out that the few attempts to perform 2D simulations have reached the conclusion that for advanced IR arrays a full 3D approach should be used. The most challenging aspect of the array design and simulation is the pixel cross-talk effects. Since this is caused by the interaction with the four nearest neighboring pixels, even a description based on a 2D simulation model in most cases is not adequate. It is consequently important to include results from 3D simulation models as a guide to build lower dimensionality models.
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Ashok K. Sood, E. James Egerton, Yash R. Puri, Enrico Bellotti, Latika S. R. Becker, Raymond S. Balcerak, and Siva Sivananthan "Design and development of multicolor detector arrays", Proc. SPIE 5564, Infrared Detector Materials and Devices, (22 October 2004);


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