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21 October 2005 QWIP and third-generation IR imagers
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Standard GaAs/AlGaAs Quantum Well Infrared Photodetectors (QWIP) are from now seriously considered for the 3rd generation of IR imagers for military markets. Since 2002, the THALES Group has been manufacturing sensitive arrays using QWIP technology based on AsGa techniques through THALES Research and Technology Laboratory. This QWIP technology allows the realization of large staring arrays for Thermal Imagers (TI) working in the IR band III (8-12 μm). A review of the current QWIP products is presented. In the past researchers claimed many advantages of QWIPs. Uniformity was one of these and is the key parameter for the production start. By presenting our first results of a 640x512 LWIR FPA at a pitch of 20μm we also demonstrate that very high performances can be achieved even with small pixels which opens the field for the realization of usable and affordable megapixel FPAs. Another advantage widely claimed in the past for QWIPs was the so-called band-gap engineering and versatility of the III-V processing allowing the custom design of quantum structure to fulfill the requirements of specific applications like very long wavelength (VLWIR) or multispectral detection. In this presentation, we present the performances of our first 256x256 MWIR / LWIR two color FPA at a pitch of 25 μm, and also the current status of QWIPs for VLWIR arrays (>15μm).
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
E. Costard, Ph. Bois, X. Marcadet, and A. Nedelcu "QWIP and third-generation IR imagers", Proc. SPIE 5978, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites IX, 59781C (21 October 2005);


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