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Uncooled Terahertz Arrays for imaging explosives NATO, Science for Peace

The general objective of this project is to develop a new uncooled- or moderately cooled- (T≥80 K) bolometer that responds quickly (with a response time τ less than 50 ns), thereby to directly detect terahertz (THz) radiation. This detector will use a sensitive element made from the narrow-gap semiconductor Hg1-xCdxTe (MCT) / Cd1-xZnxTe (CZT) material. It can be assembled into arrays. These arrays, integrated with modern readout circuits, will be applied to assure the availability of a new generation of real-time vision systems for security applications in detecting explosives in the THz/mm wave-window. Working at room temperature, or moderately cooled, the system will locate and image dangerous organic components, drugs, and hidden objects that are either absorbing or reflecting in the THz/mm radiation region.

The key novelty of this project lies in development of a MCT/CZT prototype detector, based on a new physical principle for narrow-gap semiconductors, namely, the free-carrier heating in MBE- or LPE-structured MCT as the THz detector layer. Different solutions will be considered to assure the maximum sensitivity of the detector element, for example: a) A hot-electron bolometer; b) Detectors on the basis of incorporating MCT with a built-in p-n junction; and, c) Detectors based on the MCT quantum wells. This project is underpinned by automatically measuring and testing developed THz arrays of detectors, and study and characterization of the manufactured MCT/CZT structures.
The project implies the concurrent optimization of the antenna-detector’s coupling, the development and manufacture of advanced components, and upgrading the flip-chip aligner-bonder machine in compliance with requirements of the technology needed for assembling the THz sensor.

Partner:  as Project Partner Director, PPD
              V.E. Lashkaryov Institute of Semiconductor Physics, ISP,
                Ukrainian Academy of Sciences




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