Washington: Researchers at the Northwestern University have created world`s first high performance infrared camera based on Type-II InAs/GaSb superlattices.
It produces much higher resolution images than previous infrared cameras.
The long wavelength infrared focal plane array camera provides a 16-fold increase in the number of pixels in the image and can provide infrared images in the dark.
It has been created by Manijeh Razeghi, Walter P. Murphy Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and researchers in the Center for Quantum Devices in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.
The goal of the research is to offer a better alternative to existing long wavelength infrared radiation (LWIR) cameras, which, with their thermal imaging capabilities, are used in everything from electrical inspections to security and nighttime surveillance.
Current LWIR cameras are based on mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) materials, but the Type-II superlattice is mercury-free, more robust, and can be deposited with better uniformity.
This would significantly increase yield and reduce camera cost once the technology goes commercial.
"Not only does it prove Type-II superlattices as a viable alternative to MCT, but also it widens the field of applications for infrared cameras.
"The importance of this work is similar to that of the realization of mega-pixel visible cameras in the last decade, which shaped the world``s favor for digital cameras," said Razeghi.
The findings were published in the journal Applied Physics Letters.