ERC Researchers Demonstrate High-Performance Infrared Detector

Achievement date: 
2013
Outcome/accomplishment: 

Researchers affiliated with the NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) on Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and the Environment (MIRTHE), which is headquartered at Princeton University, demonstrated a short-wavelength quantum well infrared photo-detector (QWIP) with room-temperature responsivity over 30 A/W (amperes per watt [i.e., detector electrical output divided by input power]).

Impact/benefits: 

Despite being only the second-generation detector in this research collaboration, and in the group of QWIPs using special material systems known as II-VI, this detector already performs on par with commercial detectors in the approximate same wavelength region (3 - 5 μm). 

Explanation/Background: 

The detector demonstrated a peak responsivity of about 40 A/W at 280 K, the highest for any QWIP in the 3 – 5 μm window (see accompanying figure). Estimating 10% collection efficiency, peak responsivity over 30 A/W at 280 K corresponds to a high quantum efficiency-gain product.