A novel SWIR detector with an ultra-high internal gain and negligible excess noise

H. Mohseni*, O. G. Memis, Sc Kong, A. Katsnelson, W. Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


Short wave infrared (SWIR) imaging systems have several advantages due to the spectral content of the nightglow and better discrimination against camouflage. Achieving single photon detection sensitivity can significantly improve the image quality of these systems. However, the internal noise of the detector and readout circuits are significant barriers to achieve this goal. One can prove that the noise limitations of the readout can be alleviated, if the detector exhibits sufficiently high internal gain. Unfortunately, the existing detectors with internal gain have a very high noise as well. Here we present the recent results from our novel FOcalized Carrier aUgmented Sensor (FOCUS). It utilizes very high charge compression into a nano-injector, and subsequent carrier injection to achieve high quantum efficiency and high sensitivity at short infrared at room temperature. We obtain internal gain values exceeding several thousand at bias values of less than 1 volt. The current responsivity at 1.55 μm is more than 1500 A/W, and the noise equivalent power (NEP) is less that 0.5 × 10-15 W/Hz1/2 at room temperature. These are significantly better than the performance of the existing room temperature devices with internal gain. Also, unlike avalanche-based photodiodes, the measured excess noise factor for our device is near unity, even at very high gain values. The stable gain of the device combined with the low operating voltage are unique advantages of this technology for high-performance SWIR imaging arrays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationElectro-Optical and Infrared Systems
Subtitle of host publicationTechnology and Applications IV
StatePublished - 2007
EventElectro-Optical and Infrared Systems: Technology and Applications IV - Florence, Italy
Duration: Sep 18 2007Sep 20 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherElectro-Optical and Infrared Systems: Technology and Applications IV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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