Novel Device Architectures and Characterization Techniques for Mid-IR Detectors
Abstract: The mid-infrared (mid-IR) spectral range has become a dynamic field of research for a variety of technologically vital applications. The demonstration and rapid development of the quantum and interband cascade lasers has provided compact, high power, and wavelength flexible sources for both fundamental science and the development of IR optical systems for sensing and defense applications. Infrared detector development, however, has not kept pace with the rapid growth of mid-IR sources. Mid-infrared detector materials and architectures remain largely unchanged over the past three to four decades. In this talk I will discuss the current state of the art for mid-IR detectors, and introduce the strained layer superlattice (SLS) materials as potential quantum-engineered absorber materials (in some sense the detector analogs of the cascade lasers sources) for next generation IR detectors. Techniques for optoelectronic characterization of SLS materials will be discussed (infrared time resolved photoluminescence and conductivity measurements and the electron beam induced current technique), as well as novel architectures for reduced dark-current and enhanced sensitivity SLS detectors leveraging infrared designer metals. Finally, I will discuss our group’s efforts to develop a new class of reactively-coupled IR detectors for high-detectivity operation at room temperature. In particular, I will discuss the prospects for reduced noise and improved sensitivity for the direct electrical read out of IR signals using RF circuitry.
Bio: Dan Wasserman is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Texas Austin, where he is affiliated with the Microelectronics Research Center. Prof. Wasserman earned his Sc.B. degree in Engineering/Physics and History from Brown University in 1998, graduating Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with Honors. He attended graduate school at Princeton University, earning a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, and receiving his Master’s and Doctorate in Electrical Engineering in 2000 and 2004, respectively. Upon completion of the Ph.D. program, Dr. Wasserman was awarded a Princeton University Council on Science and Technology Post-Doctoral Fellowship, and spent the next years working on quantum cascade lasers and developing a hands-on optics course at Princeton. In 2007, Dr. Wasserman joined the University of Massachusetts Lowell faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Applied Physics. In 2007, Prof. Wasserman joined the faculty of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, in the Micro and Nanotechnology Lab, becoming an Associate Professor in 2015. In 2016, Professor Wasserman joined the University of Texas at Austin. Prof. Wasserman is the recipient of the NSF CAREER award and the AFOSR Young Investigator Award, as well as the UIUC Distinguished Promotion Award, and Teaching and Advising awards and commendations at UMass and Illinois. Prof. Wasserman was elected a Fellow of the Optical Society of America in 2018.
All seminars are held on Wednesdays from 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m. in the Bowen Hall Auditorium Room 222. A light lunch is provided at 11:30 a.m. in the Bowen Hall Atrium immediately prior to the seminar.