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Home Events Events Archive 2012 The Infrared Retina: Ushering in the Fourth Generation of Infrared Detectors

The Infrared Retina: Ushering in the Fourth Generation of Infrared Detectors

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  • Visitor Seminars
When Aug 16, 2012
from 11:00 AM to 01:00 PM
Where ENGR. IV Bldg., Tesla Rm. 53-125
Contact Name
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Sanjay Krishna

University of New Mexico

Infrared detectors operating in the 3-20 mm are important due to three main reasons. Firstly, the atmosphere is transparent in the two bands referred to as mid wave infrared (MWIR, 3-5 mm) and long wave infrared (8-12 mm) making it possible to see through fog and smoke under poor visibility conditions. Secondly, a lot of chemical species have characteristic absorption features in this wavelength range making these detectors vital for remote sensing and stand off detection. Finally, there is blackbody emission from living objects at these wavelengths making it possible to use them for “night vision” and thermography applications such as surveillance and medical diagnostics.

Presently, we are in, what is referred to as, the third generation of infrared detectors. The first generation of infrared detectors was based on single pixel and linear detector arrays. The second generation consisted of small format staring focal plane arrays (FPAs). The emphasis of the third generation imagers is on (i) higher operating temperature (HOT), (ii) multicolor tunabilty and (iii) large format arrays.

In this talk, I will try and look into the crystal ball to make predictions about the fourth generation of infrared detectors. Using the concept of a bio-inspired infrared retina[1], I will make a case for an enhanced functionality in the pixel. The key idea is to engineer the pixel such that it not only has the ability to sense multimodal data such as color, polarization, dynamic range and phase but also the intelligence to transmit a reduced data set to the central processing unit. I will use two material systems, which are emerging as promising infrared detector technologies as prototypes to highlight this approach. These are (i) InAs/InGaAs self assembled quantum dots in well (DWELL) hetereostructure and InAs/(In,Ga)Sb strain layer superlattices (SLS) Detectors. Various approaches for realizing the infrared retina, such as plasmonic resonators[2], will be discussed. In addition to the applications of infrared imaging for defense application, I will highlight the role of infrared imaging in non-invasive medical diagnostics. In particular, I will highlight some work on using infrared imaging in the early detection of skin cancer.

Acknowledgements: I wish to acknowledge my collaborators (Profs. Brueck/Hayat/Zarkesh Ha group at UNM, Dr. Ali Javey’s group at Berkeley, Dr. Levan/Cardimona RVS group at AFRL, Prof. Painter’s group at Caltech, Dr. Toni Taylor, Rohit Prasankumar, Aaron Gin at Center for Integrated Nanotechnology (CINT), Prof. Lin’s group at RPI, Dr. S.K. Noh and Dr. S.J. Lee from Korean Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS), Dr. Ed Smith and Advanced Technology Group at Raytheon Vision Systems. This work would not have been possible with out the hard working members of the research group ( Dr. L.R. Dawson, Dr. E. Plis, Dr. Y.D. Sharma, Dr. J.O. Kim, Dr. D. Ramirez, S. Myers, J. Montoya, M. Kutty, E. Jang, B. Klein, G. Fiorante, T. Sandy, M. Zamiri, S. Godoy, and F. Santiago). Work supported by AFRL, AFOSR, MDA, KOSEF-GRL and NSF



Sanjay Krishna is the Associate Director of the Center for High Technology Materials and a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of New Mexico. Sanjay received his M.S. from IIT, Madras, MS in Electrical Engineering in 1999 and PhD in Applied Physics in 2001 from the University of Michigan. He joined UNM as a tenure track faculty member in 2001. His present research interests include growth, fabrication and characterization of nanoscale quantum dots and type_II InAs/InGaSb based SLS for mid infrared detectors. Sanjay received the Gold Medal from IIT, Madras, Ralph Powe Junior Faculty Award, IEEE Outstanding Engineering Award, ECE Department Outstanding Researcher Award, School of Engineering Jr Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, NCMR-DIA Chief Scientist Award for Excellence, the NAMBE Young Investigator Award, IEEE-NTC and SPIE Early Career Achievement Award. He was recently awarded the UNM Teacher of the Year and the UNM Regents Lecturer award.  Sanjay has more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles (h-index=29), two book chapters and six issued patents and has recently been elected as an SPIE Fellow.

[1] Krishna et al, Infrared Retina, US Patent 8071945, 2011.

[2] S.J. Lee et al, Nature Communications, 2: 286 April 2011

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