Characterization of Loading in the Plasma Etching of HgCdTe and Related II-VI Materials for Infrared Focal Plane Array Fabrication

J.B. Varesi, J.d. Benson, A. J. Stolz, M. Martinka, A.W. Kaleczyc, L.A. Almeida, P.R. Boyd*, and J.H. Dinan

U.S. Army RDecOM CERDec Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate

*U.S. Army Research Laboratory



Keywords: HgCdTe, ecR, plasma etching, etch loading



Infrared radiation detection has proven to be a technology with extensive applications, making impacts in fields as varied as industrial monitoring, firefighting, and astronomy.  It is also heavily utilized throughout the modern military.  The information obtained through infrared imaging is widely recognized to provide key strategic and tactical advantages to remote commanders and soldiers on the battlefield.  These applications have motivated the focused pursuit of advancing infrared technology following WWII.  In this field, HgCdTe has been a material of interest in infrared technology for over 40 years.  First appearing in detector assemblies as a bulk-grown photoconductor in the late 1960s, HgCdTe is now used for state-of-the-art multicolor infrared focal plane arrays (IRFPAs) consisting of back-to-back photovoltaic current and the fact that the cutoff wavelength can be varied as functions of both composition and temperature have made it the material of choice for infrared detectors.  HgCdTe currently dominates the market for high-end military infrared sensing applications.



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