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Development of High-Performance Graphene-HgCdTe Detector Technology for Mid-Wave Infrared Applications

  • Ghuman, Parminder S.
  • Sood, Ashok K.
  • Dhar, Nibir K.
  • Ghosh, Avik W.
  • Zeller, John W.
  • Ganguly, Samiran
  • Babu, Sachidananda R.
Publication Date
Aug 23, 2020
NASA Technical Reports Server


A high-performance graphene-based HgCdTe detector technology is being developed for sensing over the mid-wave infrared (MWIR) band for NASA Earth Science, defense, and commercial applications. This technology involves the integration of graphene into HgCdTe photodetectors that combines the best of both materials and allows for higher MWIR(2-5 m) detection performance compared to photodetectors using only HgCdTe material. The interfacial barrier between the HgCdTe-based absorber and the graphene layer reduces recombination of photogenerated carriers in the detector. The graphene layer also acts as high mobility channel that whisks away carriers before they recombine, further enhancing the detector performance. Likewise, HgCdTe has shown promise for the development of MWIR detectors with improvements in carrier mobility and lifetime. The room temperature operational capability of HgCdTe-based detectors and arrays can help minimize size, weight, power and cost for MWIR sensing applications such as remote sensing and earth observation, e.g., in smaller satellite platforms. The objective of this work is to demonstrate graphene-based HgCdTe room temperature MWIR detectors and arrays through modeling, material development, and device optimization. The primary driver for this technology development is the enablement of a scalable, low cost, low power, and small footprint infrared technology component that offers high performance, while opening doors for new earth observation measurement capabilities.

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