Skip to Main Content
Your organization might have access to this article on the publisher's site. To check, click on this link:http://dx.doi.org/+10.1063/1.371974
The success of the pixelless imaging concept using a quantum well infrared photodetector integrated with a light emitting diode (QWIP–LED) depends critically on the extent of spatial lateral spreading of both photocurrent generated in the QWIP and near infrared (NIR) photons emitted by the LED as they escape from the device layers. According to the photon recycling model proposed by Schnitzer etal [Appl. Phys. Lett. 62, 131 (1993)] there appears to be a trade-off between a high LED external quantum efficiency and a small photon lateral spread, the former being a necessary condition for achieving high detector sensitivity. This lateral spreading due to multireflections and reincarnations of the NIR photons could potentially degrade the image quality or resolution of the device. By adapting Schnitzer’s model to the QWIP–LED structure, we have identified device parameters that could potentially influence the NIR photon lateral spread and the LED external efficiency. In addition, we have developed a simple sequential model to estimate the crosstalk between the incoming far infrared image and the up-converted NIR image. We have found that the thickness of the LED is an important parameter that needs to be optimized in order to maximize the external efficiency and to minimize the crosstalk. A 6000-Å-thick LED active layer should give a resolution of ∼30 μm and an external efficiency of ∼10%. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.