Upconversion imager measures single mid-IR photons

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    The most sensitive IR detectors today are based on exotic semicoductor technology such as indium antimonide or mercury cadmium telluride. High quality detectors of these sorts are expensive and suffer from high dark currents. Dark current can be somewhat alleviated by extreme cooling. Comparing the performance of today's state of the art IR detectors for the visible/near-IR region shows a striking contrast, as the latter can have dark currents in the range of 0.001 electrons per second. Demonstrated performance of waveguide upconversion techniques still show considerable dark noise, even when working in the near-IR. Conventional detection schemes for IR radiation include microbolometers, which rely on minute temperature changes induced in a 2D nanophotonic sensor device when IR radiation is adsorbed. Microbolometers exist both as cryogenically cooled and uncooled devices. The wavelength upconversion is performed with only extremely small added dark noise, even when operating at room temperature.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalLaser Focus World
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)82-85
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Bolometers
    • Indium antimonides
    • Infrared detectors
    • Mercury compounds
    • Nanophotonics
    • Temperature sensors
    • Dark currents


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