Status of cooled and uncooled infrared detectors at SCD, Israel

Philip Klipstein, Udi Mizrahi, Rami Fraenkel, Itay Shtrichman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


For the highest end mid-wave-infrared applications, SCD, France offers a family of cryogenically cooled detectors with background limited performance (BLIP). The matured InSb planar technology is implemented in a variety of focal plane arrays, from a 320 × 256 format with a 30 μm pitch to a 1280 × 1024 format with a 15 μm pitch, all of which are operated at 77K. A major challenge is to reduce the cooling requirements. Then substantial reductions in size, weight, and power (SWaP) can be achieved by using a smaller cooler and Dewar assembly. SCD's new epi-InSb detectors, grown by molecular beam epitaxy, have a BLIP temperature of ~100 K at F/3. This enhanced operating temperature reduces the required cooling power by ~20 % compared with the conventional 77 K operation. For a very high operating temperature, we have developed the new XBn-InAsSb detector with a 4.2 μm cut-off wavelength. This detector exhibits a BLIP temperature of ~160K at F/3 and a reduction in cooling power of ~60 %. These HOT detectors enable an improved range of solutions, including faster cool-down time and mission readiness, longer mission times, and higher cooler reliability. We can also exploit their reduced dark current to obtain an enhanced signal to noise ratio at lower operating temperatures. The well-established 25 μm pitch family of uncooled μ-Bolometer detectors has two basic formats, 384 × 288 and 640 × 480, and several sensitivity grades. The very high sensitivity 25 μm pitch detector has been demonstrated at F/2.4 for mid-range systems. The wide-band detector is optimized for both the long-wave-infrared and mid-wave-infrared spectral bands. Recently we developed the new 17 μm pitch family of detectors. The 640 × 480 format is a leading candidate for applications such as thermal weapon sights, driver vision enhancers and other mid-range IR systems. The 17 μm family is currently being expanded with the high sensitivity grade and with the addition of two new formats: the compact 384 × 288 for low SWaP applications, and the large 1024 × 768 format for applications requiring high resolution and a wide field of view.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-570
Number of pages16
JournalDefence Science Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Focal plane array
  • Infrared
  • Micro-bolometer
  • Photon detector


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