by Staff Writers
Evanston IL (SPX) Jul 11, 2014
Too cool and faint, many objects in the universe are impossible to detect with visible light. Now a McCormick team has refined a new technology that could make these colder objects more visible, paving the way for enhanced exploration of deep space.
"High performance infrared cameras are crucial for space exploration missions," said Manijeh Razeghi, the Walter P. Murphy Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.
"By studying the infrared waves emitted by cool stars and planets, scientists are beginning to unlock the mysteries of these cooler objects."
Researchers have long looked to infrared waves to probe the depths of space. Infrared has a longer wavelength than visible light, so it can penetrate dense regions of gas and dust with less scattering and absorption. Current infrared detectors are typically built with mercury cadmium telluride, which works well with mid- and long-infrared wavelengths.
However, this well-established technology demonstrates low uniformity and instability for infrared waves with very long wavelengths.
Published in Applied Physics Letters, Razeghi and her collaborators describe a new technology, which uses a novel type II superlattice material called indium arsenide/indium arsenide antimonide (InAs/InAsSb). The technology shows a stable optical response in regards to very long wavelength infrared light.
By engineering the quantum properties of the type II superlattice material, the team demonstrated the world's first InAs/InAsSb very long wavelength infrared photodiodes with high performance. The new detector can be used as an inexpensive and robust alternative to current infrared technologies.
"This material has emerged as the platform for the new generation of infrared detection and imaging," said Razeghi who leads McCormick's Center for Quantum Devices. "It has proved to have longer carrier lifetimes and promises a better controllability in epitaxial growth and simpler manufacturability."
Razeghi presented this work in a keynote talk at the International Society for Optical and Photonics Defense, Security, and Sensing conference in Baltimore in April and at the Microelectronics Workshop in Istanbul, Turkey last month.
McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science
Space Telescope News and Technology at Skynightly.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|