Spectrum Detector and its strategic partner SRICO have been awarded a Phase I SBIR contract from the US Air Force Research Laboratory to develop next-generation, ultra-sensitive pyroelectric detectors targeted at THz applications.
‘We are developing a revolutionary process that will enable large-scale production of 1µm to 5µm, single-crystal, thin-film pyroelectric detectors,’ said Sri Sriram, president of SRICO. ‘We anticipate an order of magnitude increase in detector performance over the current technology.’
In addition, these devices will operate at room temperature, a major improvement over conventional high-sensitivity sensor solutions, like microbolometers, that typically require bulky, costly cryogenic cooling systems.’Room-temperature operation is critical,’ Sriram continued. ‘Not only does it provide greater design flexibility, it helps open the door to a full range of portable THz applications, from medical instrumentation to bomb-detection devices.’
Spectrum Detector will focus its efforts on manufacturability. Don Dooley, president of Spectrum Detector, said: ‘In today’s market, the most advanced thin-film detectors one can specify are typically 25µm thick– and these have to be hand crafted, one by one. In contrast, we anticipate our new manufacturing processes will allow semi-automated fabrication of up to 100 devices per substrate – even when fabricating devices as thin as 1µm to 5µm.’