QWIP or other alternative for third generation infrared systems

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Choosing the right detector technology for third generation thermal imaging systems is directly derived from the requirements of these new generation infrared imaging systems. It is now evident that third generation thermal imager will still need the higher resolution capabilities as well as capabilities in multispectral detection and polarization sensitivity. Four technologies candidates are analyzed; the field-proved HgCdTe (MCT), uncooled microbolometer technology, antimonide based materials and quantum well infrared photodetectors (QWIP). Taking into account the risks, maturity and technologies barrier of each technology, we claim that for non-strategic applications (not low background conditions), QWIP technology is the most favorite. The ternary and superlattice antimonide based materials group seems to be theoretically the best alternative, but are not recommended due to its immaturity and the high risk involved in this technology (passivation, doping control, etc.). We anticipate large penetration of the uncooled detectors to the low-end and medium-end market. The HgCdTe will still be in progress due to the inertia of the large funding and the strategic importance of this detectors technology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-444
Number of pages6
JournalInfrared Physics and Technology
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 21 Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Antimonide based material
  • MCT
  • Multispectral
  • QWIP
  • Third generation infrared detectors
  • Uncooled infrared detectors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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