XBn & T2SL

XBn & T2SL

In 2003 SCD patented the CBn/CBp IR detector and in 2006, the nBn/nBp detector. Both detector designs are part of the XBn and XBp device family in which the dark current is diffusion limited and comparable to values observed worldwide, in the best Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT) detectors. Both XBn and XBp structures are based on III-V semiconductor technology, and both have been realized at SCD. The active layer in XBn devices is based on bulk InAsSb, and in XBp devices, on an InAs/GaSb Type II Superlattice (T2SL). The device structures are grown in-house by Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE), and currently exhibit cut-off wavelengths of ~4.2 and ~9.5 μm, respectively. The XBn detector is already in production and can operate up to nearly 200K, as shown in the accompanying figure, which is for an aperture of F/3. By operating at much higher temperatures than the traditional InSb technology, the detector SWaP is greatly reduced, and the Mean Time to Failure (MTTF) greatly increased, allowing operation in realistic 24/7 surveillance applications. The complete IDCA power is <2.5W and the MTTF >10,000 hour. Because the shorter cut-off wavelength is perfectly matched to the more transparent part of the MWIR atmospheric window, InAsSb XBn detectors offer the same or even slightly superior identification and recognition ranges to those of InSb FPAs.

LWIR T2SL XBp FPAs are currently under development at SCD. The initial target format is 640512 with a 15m pitch, while the target NETD is ~20mK when operating at 77K. At this temperature, our test arrays already exhibit a dark current within one order of magnitude of MCT Rule 07, and are BLIP devices with a quantum efficiency (QE) very close to the theoretical value. This work is underpinned by a suite of simulation programs, developed in-house, that enable us chose the InAs and GaSb layer thickness values that will yield a given cut-off wavelength. For a given T2SL stack thickness in the active layer, we can also predict the detector QE and spectral response.

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