PhD Prospectus Defense: Benjamin Pinkie

Starts:
10:00 am on Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Ends:
12:00 pm on Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Location:
8 Saint Mary's Street, Room 339
Detectors sensing the thermal radiation of objects at Earth-like temperatures have become ubiquitous in military, industrial, and civilian markets for applications in night vision, communications, thermography, and object tracking. However, development of next-generation high performance detectors is prohibitively costly and time-consuming. Predictive numerical models have begun to be used as a key part of the design process to alleviate the need for fabricating a plethora of design structures and test devices.

In this work, predictive simulation models are developed and used to study several detector architectures and material systems relevant to third-generation infrared detector arrays. A full-wave electromagnetic model has been coupled with a drift-diffusion simulator to determine the electrical, spectral, and imaging characteristics of dual-band and planar HgCdTe detectors designed for operation in the mid- to long-wave infrared. Through comparison to experimental data, it is shown how the models can be used to optimize detector designs prior to fabrication. The geometrical design of two-color mesa arrays and planar diffused arrays are optimized for quantum efficiency. A method for characterizing the resolving power of a detector array from physical simulations is presented and applied.