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Corrugated QWIP for Tactical Army Applications
ARMY RESEARCH LAB ADELPHI MD
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L-3 Communications Cincinnati Electronics CE, the Army Research Laboratory ARL, and the Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate NVESD have been developing the corrugated quantum well infrared photodetector C-QWIP technology for applications in tactical LWIR imaging. The C-QWIP was invented at ARL and shows promise to overcome some of the limitations in commercially available QWIPs. The CQWIP uses micro mirrors on the detector to turn the polarization of the incident photons. This offers two distinct advantages over the grating couplers used in commercial QWIPs. The first is that the effectiveness for turning the polarization is much higher, thus higher absorption quantum efficiency is possible. Second, the reflection off the micro-mirrors is wavelength independent. This allows the material to completely define spectral response of the QWIP. CE and ARL have fabricated C-QWIP FPAs with bandwidths exceeding 3 micrometer, roughly 5 times wider than current commercial QWIPs. The increased bandwidth and quantum efficiency of the C-QWIP shows much promise to achieve the speed, sensitivity, and resolution needed for Army tactical systems.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE