Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI), in collaboration with the University of Texas, Austin (UT), has been awarded a research program from the U.S. Army to develop a metasurface-enhanced type-II superlattice (T2SL) imaging detector that achieves significant absorption enhancement for midwave infrared wavelengths (MWIR, 3–5 μm) using an absorbing layer with average thickness that is sub-micron.
MWIR imaging is critical need for unmanned aircrafts and infantry weapons systems, however, the size, weight and power (SWaP) of conventional imaging detectors is prohibitively high, dominated by large dewar-based cooling assemblies needed to reduce dark current to acceptable levels. By enhancing a low-noise T2SL detector with a metasurface, PSI’s imaging detector will have a higher quantum efficiency with a simultaneously-lower dark current than MCT detectors to enable infrared imaging at temperatures accessible to compact thermoelectric coolers.
Removing the need for cyrogenic cooling from infrared imaging systems enables new markets for infrared imagers, particularly SWaP concerns previously served as a barrier to application. In addition to adding new markets, this technology will lead to an improvement in the performance of high-end infrared systems in existing DoD and commercial markets, such as security, chemical detection and agricultural monitoring.
For more information, contact:
Dr. Joel Hensley
Vice President, Photonics Enterprise
Physical Sciences Inc.
Telephone: (978) 689-0003