The Center for Quantum Devices in the News by    
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61.  
Light or no light-this new infrared camera captures images
Light or no light-this new infrared camera captures images
Medill Reports-Chicago / Medill News Service - January 29, 2013
The center has developed detectors that are a complex quantum structure. The devices are expected to be valuable for military, medical and civilian purposes. http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=214663 ... [read more]
 
62.  
Researchers Develop Integrated Dual-mode Active and Passive Infrared Camera
Researchers Develop Integrated Dual-mode Active and Passive Infrared Camera
R&D Magazine - January 16, 2013
High-performance infrared cameras are crucial for civilian and military applications such as night-vision goggles and search-and-rescue operations. Existing cameras usually fall into one of two types: active cameras, which use an invisible infrared source to illuminate the scene, usually in the near or short-wavelength infrared; and passive cameras, which detect the thermal radiation given off by a warm object, typically in the mid- or long-wavelength infrared, without the need for any illumination. Both camera types have advantages and disadvantages in the field. Read more at http://www.rdmag.com/news/2013/01/researchers-develop-integrated-dual-mode-active-and-passive-infrared-camera?et_cid=3044524&et_rid=54751184&linkid=http%3a%2f%2fwww.rdmag.com%2fnews%2f2013%2f01%2fresearchers-develop-integrated-dual-mode-active-and-passive-infrared-camera ... [read more]
 
63.  
Researchers Develop Integrated Dual-mode Active and Passive Infrared Camera
Researchers Develop Integrated Dual-mode Active and Passive Infrared Camera
News from McCormick - January 14, 2013
In a move that may change the way we look a two-color imaging, researchers at the Northwestern University’s Center for Quantum Devices have now found a way to integrate active and passive infrared imaging capability into a single chip. This opens the way to lighter and simpler dual-mode active/passive cameras with lower power dissipation. A paper about the findings, “Active and Passive Infrared Imager Based on Short-Wave and Mid-Wave Type-II Superlattice Dual-Band Detectors,” was published January 1 in the journal Optic Letters. The work was led by Manijeh Razeghi, Walter P. Murphy Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. The researchers achieved this feat by engineering the quantum properties of novel semiconductor materials called the indium arsenide/gallium antimonide (InAs/GaSb) type-II superlattices. Researchers at the center have been pioneering the development of type-II superlattices as a superior replacement of aging mercury-cadmium-telluride (HgCdTe) infrared camera technology in terms of both performance and cost. Using the unique band-structure engineering capabilities of type-II superlattices, they have developed a new structure incorporating two different superlattices with different layer spacings, thus enabling detection with a cutoff wavelength of either 2.2µm (active mode) or 4.5µm (passive mode). This new device can simply switch from passive to active mode by a very small change in bias. The work was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. ... [read more]
 
64.  
Lasers improved for standoff sensing
Lasers improved for standoff sensing
Photonics Spectra - November 1, 2012
A new resonator design that controls both wavelength and beam quality enables the purest, brightest and most powerful beams ever from a single-mode infrared quantum cascade laser. Manijeh Razeghi, the Walter P. Murphy Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and colleagues developed the resonator using a new type of distributed feedback mechanism called B-DFB, a simple diffractive feedback in an angled laser cavity. The work improves the accuracy of the devices, critical for boosting the standoff detection of gas, explosives or other hazardous materials to even greater distances. The findings appeared in Applied Physics Letters (doi: 10.1063/1.4747447). ... [read more]
 
65.  
Researchers Develop Simplified Approach for High-Power, Single-Mode Lasers
Researchers Develop Simplified Approach for High-Power, Single-Mode Lasers
McCormick News Article - August 23, 2012
When it comes to applications like standoff sensing—using lasers to detect gas, explosives, or other materials from a safe distance—the laser’s strength is of the utmost importance. A stronger and purer beam means devices can sense danger more accurately from a greater distance. Northwestern University researchers have developed a new resonator that that controls both wavelength and beam quality, creating the purest, brightest, and most powerful single-mode quantum cascade lasers yet at the 8-12 micron range. The feat is achieved through the use of a new type of “distributed feedback” mechanism called Β-DFB, a simple diffractive feedback in an angled laser cavity. A paper describing the findings, “Angled Cavity Broad Area Quantum Cascade Lasers,” was published August 21 in the journal Applied Physics Letters ( DOI:10.1063/1.4747447). ... [read more]
 
66.  
Improved LEDs and photovoltaics by hybridization and nanostructuring
Improved LEDs and photovoltaics by hybridization and nanostructuring
SPIE Newsroom - June 15, 2012
There has been rapid industrial development for optoelectronic devices based on III-Nitrides, which span a direct bandgap from deep UV to IR, and are currently widely used in commercial white, UV, blue, and green LEDs. This alloy system is now projected to provide a platform for the development of novel multi-junction photovoltaics (PVs) with an unprecedented fit to the solar spectrum. However, improving the efficiency of InGaN-based p-n junctions is a very complex and multifaceted task for a number of reasons.
Zinc oxide (ZnO) is a remarkable, multifunctional, and biocompatible direct-, wide-bandgap semiconductor, with a distinctive property set and a unique potential for nanostructuring. Recently, there has been a surge of activity surrounding ZnO to the point where the number of publications now rivals that for GaN. Due to their similar crystal structures and bandgaps, ZnO and GaN can be combined in new ways, which opens up the prospect of novel optoelectronic devices and has the potential to solve many of the issues with existing III-Nitride devices. ... [read more]

 
67.  
Superlattice sees colder objects in two colors and high resolution
Superlattice sees colder objects in two colors and high resolution
SPIE Newsroom - February 10, 2012
The capabilities of IR sensing, commonly used for night vision, have been extended to see colder objects at high speed and potentially made cheaper by using a semiconductor material called the type II superlattice. The wavelength tunability and material robustness of type III-V superlattice have generated much attention in recent years. This is especially true with respect to the performance of the material in narrow-energy-gap detectors, and specifically in a part of the electromagnetic spectrum between 8 and 12 μm, called the long-wavelength IR (LWIR). The benefits of this technology have enabled us to push type II superlattice to its logical next step: a camera capable of seeing distinct wavebands or colors in an all-in-one package, a feat not previously demonstrated by this material system in the LWIR. Our group engineered the detection energies on the cameras to be extremely narrow, with cutoff wavelengths at 9.5 and 13 μm, in the range of roughly 0.1eV in energy. Realizing the camera was a difficult task because the light-absorbing layers are prone to surface leakage effects due to the size of the pixels, which are 30μm wide. We first reported a dual-band LWIR 320256 pixel-sized type II superlattice in July 2011. More recently, we also demonstrated a large-format 640 x 512 pixel type II superlattice camera based on the same material design. The 4x increased resolution is necessary for many advanced applications. ... [read more]
 
68.  
Compact terahertz device could improve security screening
Compact terahertz device could improve security screening
Photonics Spectra magazine, Vol. 45, Issue 12, p. 19-20 - December 31, 2011
Using two mid-infrared laser beams, researchers have finally generated single-chip terahertz radiation at room temperature. The technology could speed up and improve a range of processes, including high-sensitivity biological and chemical analysis, astronomical study, security screening, border protection and agricultural inspection. The project got its start in an unscientific place: the airport security lineup. Like most travelers, Manijeh Razeghi, a professor at Northwestern University's McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, was concerned with both the delays in the process and its accuracy. The technology to safely and easily inspect items for hazardous substances is expensive and bulky, so much of it is underused, Razeghi said. The same concerns — time, reliability and cost — are found in medical diagnostics, tumor detection and package inspection. She wanted to come up with "something useful that can overcome these basic limitations and allow terahertz technology to truly become pervasive in order to make everyone's life a little safer and easier." Coherent terahertz radiation historically has been very difficult to generate, and the search for a compact easy-to-use source continues today. Existing terahertz sources are large multicomponent systems that may require complex vacuum electronics, external pump lasers and/or cryogenic cooling. A single-component device that does not have these limitations could enable next-generation terahertz systems. ... [read more]
 
69.  
Focal-Plane Arrays:  Northwestern develops solar-blind, deep-UV FPA
Focal-Plane Arrays: Northwestern develops solar-blind, deep-UV FPA
Laser Focus World magazine - November 2, 2011
In the solar-blind region, the ozone layer in our atmosphere absorbs nearly 100% of the Sun’s energy for wavelengths shorter than 285 nm. Within this region, 254 nm—the dominant ultraviolet (UV) emission line of low-pressure mercury lamps used in germicidal disinfection—can cause damage to the human cornea, making it an especially important wavelength to monitor and control in clinical environments. Current detection methods for this deep-UV spectral range include photocathode and microchannel-plate combinations or silicon-photodetector arrays with bandpass filters. However, these options are fragile (vacuum-tube based) and require high-voltage power supplies or are not intrinsically solar blind and become complex and inefficient due to filtering requirements, respectively. Progress in back-illuminated, aluminum-gallium-nitride (AlGaN)-based photodetectors has eliminated many of these drawbacks. Low quality of the AlGaN layers—hindered by the need for high Al content to make the detectors truly solar blind—has limited this progress. By refining the metal-organic chemical-vapor-deposition (MOCVD) growth process, researchers at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) have improved the quality and increased the Al content of the AlGaN layers and successfully fabricated the first deep-UV focal-plane array (FPA). ... [read more]
 
70.  
Superlattice cameras add color to night-vision imaging
Superlattice cameras add color to night-vision imaging
Laser Focus World magazine - November 2, 2011
In addition to their recent development of a narrowband terahertz source, Manijeh Razeghi’s group at Northwestern University’s Center for Quantum Devices have built an infrared camera that can see more than one optical waveband or “color” in the dark. The semiconducting material used in the camera--a type-II superlattice--can be tuned to absorb a wide range of infrared wavelengths, and now, a number of distinct infrared bands at the same time. The idea of capturing light simultaneously at different wavelengths is not new. Digital cameras in the visible spectrum are commonly equipped with detectors that sense red, green, and blue light to replicate a vast majority of colors perceived by the human eye. Multi-color detection in the infrared spectrum, however, offers unique functionalities beyond color representation. The resonant frequencies of compounds can often be found in this spectral range, which means that chemical spectroscopy can be relayed in images real-time. ... [read more]
 

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