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25 March 2005 Status of HgCdTe/Si technology for large format infrared focal plane arrays
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HgCdTe offers significant advantages over other semiconductors which has made it the most widely utilized variable-gap material in infrared focal plane array (FPA) technology. However, one of the main limitations of the HgCdTe materials system has been the size of lattice-matched bulk CdZnTe substrates, used for epitaxially-grown HgCdTe, which are 30 cm2 in size for production and have historically been difficult and expensive to scale in size. This limitation does not adequately support the increasing demand for larger FPA formats which now require sizes up to and beyond 2048 x 2048 and only a single die can be printed per wafer. Heteroepitaxial Si-based substrates offer a cost-effective technology that can be more readily scaled to large wafer sizes. Most of the effort in the IR community in the last 10 years has focused on growing HgCdTe directly on (112)Si substrates by MBE. At Raytheon we have scaled the MBE (112)HgCdTe/Si process originally developed at HRL for 3-in wafers, first to 4-in wafers and more recently to 6 in wafers. We have demonstrated a wide range of MWIR FPA formats up to 2560 x 512 in size and have found that their performance is comparable to arrays grown on bulk CdZnTe substrates by either MBE or LPE techniques. More recent work is focused on extending HgCdTe/Si technology to LWIR wavelengths. The goal of this paper is to review the current status of HgCdTe/Si technology both at Raytheon and the published work available from other organizations.
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