Nano and Micro Systems
Antenna-coupled NTJ IR detectors for Hyperspectral Polarimetric FPA
The objective of this project is to develop and demonstrate proof-of-concept for novel antenna-coupled nano tunneling junction (NTJ)–based IR detectors, which will enable high-resolution hyperspectral and polarimetric infrared (IR) focal plane arrays (FPAs) without the need of optical filters and polarizer wheels and without cooling and with extremely small dissipation power.
The NTJ IR detectors operate under a new IR detection principle, zero-bias electronic rectification of nano Si-MOS (metal-oxide-semiconductor) diodes, in which the NTJ detectors utilize highly nonlinear current-voltage characteristics at zero-bias for rectification of incoming IR coupled through both wavelength- and polarization-agile antennas. Successful demonstration of the new IR detection mechanism will establish a key stepping stone toward uncooled, simultaneous hyperspectral and polarimetric sensing on a single FPA chip fabricated with Si-based technology, which can be easily scalable to a large IR FPAs.
Prototype antenna-coupled NTJ IR detectors have been developed and detector responses have been measured at room temperature using illumination from a heated tungsten filament within a small flashlight. The measured data indicated that the detector responds to the illuminated light with a clear signal-to-noise ratio. The project was carried out by JPL in collaboration with HRL Laboratories.