Abstract

To our knowledge, we are the first to successfully report a direct hybrid two-dimensional (2D) detector array in the far-infrared region. Gallium-doped germanium (Ge:Ga) has been used extensively to produce sensitive far-infrared detectors with a cutoff wavelength of ≅110 μm (2.7 THz). It is widely used in the fields of astronomy and molecular and solid spectroscopy. However, Ge:Ga photoconductors must be cooled below 4.2 K to reduce thermal noise, and this operating condition makes it difficult to develop a large format array because of the need for a warm amplifier. Development of Ge:Ga photoconductor arrays to take 2D terahertz images is now an important target in such research fields as space astronomy. We present the design of a 20 × 3 Ge:Ga far-infrared photoconductor array directly hybridized to a Si p-type metal-oxide-semiconductor readout integrated circuit using indium-bump technology. The main obstacles in creating this 2D array were (1) fabricating a monolithic Ge:Ga 2D array with a longitudinal configuration, (2) developing a cryogenic capacitive transimpedance amplifier, and (3) developing a technology for connecting the detector to the electronics. With this technology, a prototype Ge:Ga photoconductor with a direct hybrid structure has shown a responsivity as high as 14.6 A/W and a minimum detectable power of 5.6 × 10-17 W for an integration time of 0.14 s when it was cooled to 2.1 K. Its noise is limited by the readout circuit with 20 μV/Hz1/2 at 1 Hz. Vibration and cooling tests demonstrated that this direct hybrid structure is strong enough for spaceborne instruments. This detector array will be installed on the Japanese infrared satellite ASTRO-F.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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