Low-cost multispectral infrared detector arrays

Lionel Kimerling and Anuradha Murthy Agarwal

Many defense programs, such as military night-vision applications, use infrared focal plane arrays (FPAs) for detection and intelligence. These programs are increasingly demanding multi-spectral detectors enabling advanced infrared systems to "see" more clearly and deliver better intelligence functions, such as target discrimination and identification. At the same time, they want to retain the maturity and low cost of very large scale integration (VLSI) processing, or silicon technology.

This project will explore the development of large-area monolithic photodetector arrays combining near-IR, mid-IR and far-IR detection using standard components that will lower cost and improve yield. Its strategy is to significantly improve the performance characteristics of large-area multi-spectral infrared focal plane arrays using novel pixels, while at the same time lowering costs. The project will also explore the possibility of bringing the large-area multispectral infrared array technology from specialty to commodity pricing, and hence generate disruptive, new commercial opportunities in this high-growth market.