Sensors

Hamamatsu Photonic’s subminature new detector

24th January 2023
Harry Fowle

Hamamatsu Photonic have developed a new InAsSb photovoltaic detector (P16702-011MN) with built-in preamplifier offering high sensitivity to mid-infrared light, up to 11μm in wavelength. We achieved this by combining the latest InAsSb (indium arsenide antimonide) mid-infrared models with our unique circuit design technology. Compared to our previous modules with same level of sensitivity, the P16702-011MN size and cost is drastically reduced, and it exhibits fast response time. This makes it an ideal choice for portable gas analysers able to immediately analyse exhaust gas components at measurement sites around factories.

Sales of the P16702-011MN will begin on 1st February 2023 to domestic and overseas manufacturers of environmental measurement and analysis equipment. We will also have the P16702-011MN on show at the “SPIE Photonics West 2023”, an international conference on photonics and related technologies, held in San Francisco, California, USA from 31st January to 2nd February 2023.

Product overview

The P16702-011MN is a compound semiconductor photodetector with built-in preamplifier for electrical signal amplification.

Each molecule has its own vibration and absorbs infrared light at a specific wavelength determined by its energy. This property can be used to analyse and identify the type and quantity of chemical components contained in a sample. Therefore, mid-infrared light is widely utilised in the analysis of nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides contained in exhaust gases from factories, etc.

To meet needs in applications such as gas analysis and monitoring of processing laser equipment, we develop and sell InAsSb mid-infrared detectors and detector module products with enhanced sensitivity, by integrating these with electronic circuits and components including preamplifiers. To keep up with the growing market demand of further downsizing equipment, we have been working on a subminiature, low-cost mid-infrared detector device that also offers high-speed response.

In designing this new device, we adopted the latest back-illuminated type InAsSb mid-infrared detector with a sensitivity 1.5x higher than the regular type. We encapsulated it into a small cylindrical package with a diameter of approximately 9mm. The device was drastically downsized to about 1/200th the volume of our module products, yet it still offers the same level of sensitivity capable of detecting mid-infrared light at wavelengths up to 11μm. What’s more, the wiring in the package is optimised to increase the response speed up to 100MHz, which is twice as high as our module products, thus improving measurement accuracy. It also has a lower manufacturing cost since we reduced the number of required components.

The P16702-011MN will speed up the replacement of mercury-cadmium-telluride (MCT) infrared detectors which is currently the mainstream in high-precision mid-infrared spectroscopy but contains toxic substances restricted by the RoHS Directive. Hamamatsu Photonics is one of the few companies that manufacture both photodetectors and light sources. Using the P16702-011MN in conjunction with a quantum cascade laser, which we also manufacture, allows making measurements at even higher speeds, resolution, and sensitivity.

We will continue designing and developing cooled-type detectors that remain unaffected by ambient temperature changes and in this way, increase the reliability of measurement results.

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