IV-VI material based devices have the potential to make a large impact in today's infrared detector market. In fact IV-VI semiconductor materials have an interesting history, as they were intensively pursued until the end of the 1970's at which time they were dropped in favor of other materials such as MCT. Fortunately, many of the technical issues at that time no longer pose problems in modern devices. The development of newer growth techniques has also led to higher quality IV-VI materials, which in-turn shows promise for dramatically improved device performance.
Detection of light emitted in the mid to long wavelength infrared (MWIR to LWIR) region of the spectrum has widespread applications including night vision imaging for security and soldiers, trace gas sensing, and detection of harmful chemicals and explosives. Mid-IR single-element detectors and focal plane arrays are under development for use in infrared imaging applications and spectroscopy systems.
Through collaborations with the Opto-electronics Group at OU and other industrial partners, research and development efforts are currently underway to produce PbSnSe focal plane arrays (FPAs) for use in infrared cameras. Plans include developing a monolithic FPA as shown in the figure below. PbSnSe is a particularly promising material for use in monolithic FPAs, as it is capable of being grown and processed directly onto a Si wafer containing the readout circuitry. We plan to develop a complete prototype within the next two to three years, at which time they will become commercially available.
Please contact Dr. Shelly Elizondo for detector activity at email@example.com.