A great step forward in science and technology was made when it was discovered that lattice mismatch can be used to grow highly ordered, artificial atom-like structures called self-assembled quantum dots. Several groups have in the meantime successfully demonstrated useful infrared photodetection devices which are based on this technology. The new physics is fascinating, and there is no doubt that many new applications will be found when we have developed a better understanding of the underlying physical processes, and in particular when we have learned how to integrate the exciting new developments made in nanoscopic addressing and molecular self-assembly methods with semiconducting dots. In this paper we examine the scientific and technical questions encountered in current state of the art infrared detector technology and suggest ways of overcoming these difficulties. Promoting simple physical pictures, we focus in particular on the problem of high temperature detector operation and discuss the origin of dark current, noise, and photoresponse.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering