Abstract and Keywords
This article describes the basic principles of semiconductor quantum-dot infrared photodetectors based on conduction-band intersublevel transitions. Sufficient background material is discussed to enable an appreciation of the subtle differences between quantum-well and quantum-dot devices. The article first considers infrared photon absorption and photon detection, along with some metrics for photon detectors and the detection of infrared radiation by semiconductors. It then examines the optical matrix element for interband, intersubband and intersublevel transitions before turning to experimental single-pixel quantum-dot infrared photodetectors. In particular, it explains the epitaxial synthesis of quantum dots and looks at mid-wave and long-wave quantum-dot infrared photodetectors. It also evaluates the characteristics of quantum-dot detectors and possible development of quantum-dot focal plane array imagers. The article concludes with an assessment of the challenges and prospects for high-performance detectors and arrays.
Keywords: infrared photodetectors, intersublevel transitions, infrared photon absorption, photon detection, photon detectors, infrared radiation, semiconductors, quantum dots, focal plane array imagers
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