SEEING PHOTONS

PROGRESS AND LIMITS OF VISIBLE AND INFRARED SENSOR ARRAYS

Committee on Developments in Detector Technologies

Standing Committee on Technology Insight—Gauge, Evaluate, and Review

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
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Committee on Developments in Detector Technologies Standing Committee on Technology Insight—Gauge, Evaluate, and Review Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This is a report of work supported by contract HHM402-05-D-0011 between the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Academy of Sciences. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommenda- tions expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-15304-1 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-15304-2 Limited copies are available from Additional copies are available from Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences The National Academies Press National Research Council 500 Fifth Street, N.W. 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Lockbox 285 Washington, DC 20001 Washington, DC 2001 (202) 334-3118 (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area) http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2010 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal govern - ment on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to as- sociate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPMENTS IN DETECTOR TECHNOLOGIES STEVEN R.J. BRUECK, Chair, University of New Mexico PAUL McMANAMON, Vice Chair, Exciting Technology, LLC STEFAN BAUR, Raytheon Vision Systems VALERIE BROWNING, ValTech Solutions, LLC JOHN DEVITT, Georgia Tech Research Institute THOMAS HARTWICK, Independent Consultant ANGELA HODGE, Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory MICHAEL HOPMEIER, Unconventional Concepts, Inc. STEVEN JOST, BAE Systems LINDA KATEHI, University of California, Davis SEETHAMBAL MANI, Sandia National Laboratories C. KUMAR PATEL, Pranalytica, Inc. TAMAR PELI, Charles Stark Draper Laboratory DAVID SHAVER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lincoln Laboratory JONATHAN SMITH, University of Pennsylvania Staff CARTER W. FORD, Study Director NORMAN HALLER, Consultant SARAH CAPOTE, Research Associate MARGUERITE SCHNEIDER, Administrative Coordinator URRIKKA WOODS, Program Associate (to February 26, 2010) v

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STANDING COMMITTEE ON TECHNOLOGY INSIGHT—GAUGE, EVALUATE, AND REVIEW RUTH A. DAVID, Chair, ANSER, Inc. BRIAN BALLARD, ARES Systems Group STEVEN R.J. BRUECK, University of New Mexico ANN N. CAMPBELL, Sandia National Laboratories ALAN H. EPSTEIN, Pratt and Whitney JOHN GANNON, BAE Systems SHARON C. GLOTZER, University of Michigan CHRISTOPHER C. GREEN, Wayne State University DIANE E. GRIFFIN, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health J.C. HERZ, Batchtags, LLC ALLISON HICKEY, Accenture National Security Services J. JEROME HOLTON, ARES Systems Group KENNETH KRESS, KBK Consulting FREDERICK R. LOPEZ, AMC Incorporated GILMAN G. LOUIE, Alsop-Louie Partners STUART PARKIN, IBM Almaden Research Center JULIE J.C.H. RYAN, George Washington University Staff MICHAEL A. CLARKE, Lead DEPS Board Director CARTER W. FORD, Program Officer DANIEL E.J. TALMAGE, JR., Program Officer MARGUERITE SCHNEIDER, Administrative Coordinator KAMARA BROWN, Research Associate SARAH CAPOTE, Research Associate SHANNON THOMAS, Program Associate vi

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Preface The Department of Defense has recently highlighted intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities as a top priority for U.S. warfighters. Contri- butions provided by ISR assets in the operational theaters in Iraq and Afghanistan have been widely documented in press reporting. While the United States continues to increase investments in ISR capabilities, other nations not friendly to the United States will continue to seek countermeasures to U.S. capabilities. The Technology Warning Division of the Defense Intelligence Agency’s (DIA’s) Defense Warning Office (DWO) has the critical responsibility, in collaboration with other components of the intelligence community (IC), for providing U.S. policy makers insight into technological developments that may impact future U.S. warfighting capabilities. To this end, the IC requested that the National Research Council (NRC) investigate and report on key visible and infrared detector tech- nologies, with potential military utility, that are likely to be developed in the next 10-15 years. This study is the eighth in a series sponsored by the DWO and executed under the auspices of the NRC TIGER (Technology Insight—Gauge, Evaluate, and Review) Standing Committee. A committee of experts in the scientific and technical areas relating to visible and infrared detectors was formed to conduct this study. Faced with a relatively short time frame for completing the study, the committee very much appreciates the timely and informed cooperation of the IC members who sponsored the study, as well as the many government, industry, and university participants who contrib- uted valuable information during the committee’s meetings. vii

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Preface viii We wish to thank all of the committee members for their efforts in producing this report in a very short period of less than four months from first meeting to peer review. In addition, the peer reviewers and monitor provided insightful and useful comments that improved the quality of the report. A sincere thank you is due to the NRC staff including Carter Ford, Sarah Capote, Marguerite Schneider, and Urrikka Woods. The contributions of Norm Haller in providing organizational and technical writing assistance were also of immense value to the committee. Steven R.J. Brueck, Chair Paul McManamon, Vice Chair Committee on Developments in Detector Technologies

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Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures ap- proved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: R. Stephen Berry, University of Chicago James Coleman, University of Illinois Ruth David, Anser, Inc. Donald Gaver, Naval Postgraduate School Anthony Hyder, University of Notre Dame Kenneth Kress, KBK Consulting, Inc. Robert Latiff, Science Applications International Corporation Manijeh Razeghi, Northwestern University. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive com- ments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recom- mendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Elsa Garmire, Dartmouth College. Appointed ix

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acknowledgment reviewers x of by the NRC, she was responsible for making certain that an independent exami- nation of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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Contents SUMMARY 1 1 NATIONAL SECURITY CONTEXT OF DETECTOR 9 TECHNOLOGIES Background and Introduction, 9 Committee Approach to Study, 10 General Discussion of Detector Technologies for Future Military Applications, 11 Overview, 11 Wide-area, Continuous, Airborne Surveillance, 11 Inexpensive Airborne Sensors, 12 Airborne Military Targeting, 12 Missile Warning Sensors, 13 See-and-avoid Sensors, 13 Infrared Search and Track Systems, 13 Inexpensive Terrestrial-based Sensors, 14 Ground-based Targeting Sensors, 14 Satellite Platforms, 14 Orbits and Applications, 15 Fractionated Space Systems, 16 Implications for Sensor Systems, 17 Possible Future Detector-related Military Developments, 18 Deductions, Extrapolations, and Speculations, 19 xi

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contents xii Areas Not Considered or Considered Superficially, 21 Report Organization, 22 2 FUNDAMENTALS OF ULTRAVIOLET, VISIBLE, AND 23 INFRARED DETECTORS Introduction, 23 Sources, 24 Transmission, 24 Spectral Regions, 24 Atmospheric Transmission, 24 Detection, 26 Thermal Detection, 27 Quantum Detection, 27 Photoconductors, 27 Photovoltaic Detectors, 27 Avalanche Photodiodes, 28 Information Encoded by Photons, 28 Intensity, 28 Spectrum, 28 Polarization, 29 Dynamics, 29 Time Delay, 29 Phase and Incidence Angle, 29 The Limits Imposed by Diffraction, 30 Spatial Resolution, 30 Optical Systems, 31 Numerical Aperture and Field of View, 31 Curved Focal Planes, 32 Detectivity, 32 Quantum Efficiency, 32 Noise, 33 Photon Statistics and Background-limited Infrared Detection, 33 Dark Current, 34 Readout Noise, 35 Other Sources of Noise, 35 Brief Survey of Detectors by Spectral Region, 36 Ultraviolet, 36 Solar Blind, 36 Visible, 37 Charge-coupled Device Imagers, 39

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contents xiii Complementary Metal Oxide–Semiconductor Imagers, 42 Avalanche Photodiodes, 45 Near Infrared, 49 Silicon, 49 Intensifiers, 49 Short-wavelength Infrared, 50 Mid-, Long-, and Very Long Wavelength Infrared, 50 Brief History of Infrared Detection, 50 Indium Antimonide, 51 Mercury Cadmium Telluride, 51 Strained-layer Superlattice, 54 Quantum-well Infrared Photodetectors and Quantum-dot Infrared Photodetectors, 55 Very Long Wavelength Infrared, 56 Fabrication of Detectors and Focal Plane Arrays, 56 Detectors, 56 Focal Plane Arrays, 57 Manufacturing Infrastructure, 58 Concluding Thoughts, 58 3 KEY CURRENT TECHNOLOGIES AND EVOLUTIONARY 60 DEVELOPMENTS Introduction, 60 Key Technologies Expected to Drive Advancements in Existing Detector Technologies over the Next 10-15 Years, 61 Ultralarge-format Focal Plane Arrays, 62 Mosaic Tiling Technologies, 63 Pixel Size Reduction, 65 Smarter Pixels and On-focal-plane Processing, 67 3-D Integration and Improved Hybridization Technology, 71 Devices Able to Perform at Higher Temperatures, 71 Multicolor Pixels, 73 Improved SWIR Arrays, 76 Photon Counting Technologies and Lower Readout Noise, 77 Curved Focal Surfaces, 79 Lower Power, 79 Radiation Hardening, 79 Cost Reduction, 80 Improved Cooler Technologies, 81 Cryocoolers, 82

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contents xiv Thermoelectric Coolers, 85 Concluding Thoughts, 90 4 EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES WITH POTENTIALLY 91 SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS Introduction, 91 Advanced Detection Technologies, 91 Epitaxial Growth Approaches, 91 Nanophotonics, 93 Photonic Structures, 96 Electronics, 97 Sensor Elements, 98 Plasmonic Enhancement of Detectors, 98 Antennas, 101 Wavelength Up-conversion, 104 MEMS Bi-morph Cantilevers, 105 Optomechanical Devices, 106 Bioinspired Detection, 107 Emerging Innovative Optical Technologies, 108 Microlenses, 108 Integration of Optics with Focal Plane Arrays, 109 Compressive Sensing, 111 Lensless Imaging, 114 Improved Coolers, 115 Thermoelectrics, 115 Phononic Crystals for Cooling, 119 Laser Cooling, 119 Enhanced Signal Processing, 121 Data and Information Transmission, 122 Data Compression, 122 Data Screening Techniques, 124 Application-specific Processing, 124 Local Processing, 124 Multisensor Data Fusion, 130 Concluding Thoughts, 132 5 THE GLOBAL LANDSCAPE OF DETECTOR TECHNOLOGIES 134 Introduction, 134 Worldwide Leaders, 134 Government Roles, Markets, and Scale, 138

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contents xv U.S. Export Restrictions, 143 Supply Chain Bottlenecks, 146 Additional Considerations, 147 Concluding Thoughts, 148 Tracking Developments, 151 APPENDIXES A Biographical Sketches of Committee Members 155 B Meetings and Participating Organizations 163 C Background Information on Radiation Hardening for Detectors 167

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Acronyms ABL airborne laser ADC analog-to-digital converter AGC automatic gain control APD avalanche photodiode APS active pixel sensor ARGUS-IS Autonomous Real-time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System ARTEMIS Advanced Responsive Tactically Effective Military Imaging Spectrometer ASAT antisatellite (capability) ASIC application-specific integrated circuit ATC/R automatic target cuing-recognition BLIP background-limited infrared photodetection CCD charge-coupled device CDL Common Data Link CMOS complementary metal oxide semiconductor CNT carbon nanotube COP coefficient of performance COTS commercial off-the-shelf CPU central processing unit CTE charge transfer efficiency xvii

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acronyms xviii CTIA capacitor transimpedance amplifier CZT cadmium zinc telluride 3-D three-dimensional DARPA Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency DCT discrete cosine transform DIA Defense Intelligence Agency DOD Department of Defense DRAM dynamic random access memory DWELL (Quantum) Dots in a (quantum) well detector DWO Defense Warning Office DWT discrete wavelet transform EMI electromagnetic interference EO electro-optical FET field-effect transistor FLIR forward-looking infrared FOV field of view FPA focal plane array FPDP front-panel data port FPGA field-programmable gate array GEO geosynchronous orbit GM-APD geiger mode avalanche photodiode GPU graphics processing unit G-R generation-recombination HDMI high-definition multimedia interface HEO high Earth orbit IC integrated circuit; intelligence community IED improvised explosive device IR infrared IRST infrared search and track system ISR intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance ITAR International Traffic in Arms Regulations ITO indium tin oxide JPEG Joint Photographic Experts Group JWST James Webb Space Telescope

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acronyms xix LACOSTE Large Area Coverage Optical Search-while-Track and Engage LADAR laser detection and ranging LED light-emitting diode LEO low Earth orbit LPE liquid-phase epitaxy LRU line-replaceable unit LVDS low-voltage differential signaling LWIR long-wavelength infrared MBE molecular beam epitaxy MCT mercury cadmium telluride MDE Multicore Development Environment MEMS microelectromechanical system MEO middle Earth orbit MGM metal-graphene-metal MOS metal oxide semiconductor MTF modulation transfer function MWIR mid-wavelength infrared NA numerical aperture NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization NEP noise-equivalent power NIR near infrared NNI National Nanotechnology Initiative NRC National Research Council NRDA National Research and Development Act NTIS National Technical Information Service NUC nonuniformity correction OTCCD orthogonal transfer CCD PCR polymerase chain reaction PnC phononic crystal QDIP quantum-dot IR photodetector QE quantum efficiency QWIP quantum-well IR photodetector R&D research and development RF radio frequency

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acronyms xx RGB red, green, blue (color model) ROIC readout integrated circuit RTG radioisotope thermoelectric generator RTI Research Triangle Institute SERS surface-enhanced Raman scattering Si PIN diode with an intrinsic silicon layer between the P- and N-type regions SITP Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics SLS strain-layer superlattice SOI silicon on insulator SOT statement of task SPD single-photon detector SPW surface plasma wave SWaP size, weight, and power SWIR short-wavelength infrared SWNT single-wall carbon nanotube TDI time delay-and-integrate TE thermoelectric TIGER Standing Committee on Technology Insight—Gauge, Evaluate, and Review TOMBO Thin Observation Module using Bound Optics UGS unattended ground sensor UV ultraviolet VLWIR very long wavelength infrared