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Microconical Silicon Mid-IR Concentrators: Spectral, Angular and Polarization Response (Preprint)

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Journal Article - Open Access

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Air Force Research Laboratory/RYDH Wright-Patterson AFB United States

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It is widely discussed in the literature that a problem of reduction of thermal noise of mid-wave and long-wave infrared MWIR and LWIR cameras and focal plane arraysFPAs can be solved by using light-concentrating structures. The idea is to reduce the area and, consequently, the thermal noise of photodetectors still providing good collection of photons on photodetector mesas that can help to increase the operating temperature of FPAs. It is shown that this approach can be realized using microconical Si light concentrators with111 oriented sidewalls, which can be mass-produced by anisotropic wet etching of Si 100wafers. The design is performed by numerical modeling in a mesoscale regime when the microcones are sufficiently large several MWIR wavelengths to resonantly trap photons, but still too small to apply geometrical optics or other simplified approaches. Three methods of integration Si microcone arrays with the focal plane arrays FPAs are proposed and studiedi Inverted microcones fabricated in a Si slab which can be heterogeneously integrated with the front illuminated FPA photodetectors made from high quantum efficiency materials to provide resonant power enhancement factors PEF up to 10 with angle-of-view AOV up to10 ii Inverted microcones which can be monolithically integrated with metal-Si Schottky barrier photodetectors to provide resonant PEFs up to 25 and AOVs up to 30 for both polarizations of incident plane waves and iii Regular microcones which can be monolithically integrated with near-surface photodetectors to provide a non-resonant power concentration on compact photodetectors with large AOVs. It is demonstrated that inverted microcones allow realizing multispectral imaging with 100 nm bands and large AOVs for both polarizations. In contrast, the regular microcones operate similar to single-pass optical components such as dielectric microspheres producing sharply focused photonic nanojets.

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  • Electrooptical and Optoelectronic Devices

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